This is a short story written exclusively for the Telegraph this Christmas about a women who spends her Christmas with his aged, invalid mother in rural Norfolk when all she wants is to spend the holiday strolling around London with her married lover.
The title is a play on the book she reads to her mother during the violent storm called ‘Blackberry Winter’ and how her use of her Blackberry phone becomes an integral plot point. The storm destroys her mother’s garden, which the narrator comments is the only thing her mother ever really loved. The storm is a metaphor for the destruction of old comforts that keep you inert and the painful process of change that comes after.
Or something like that, the story is fairly awful to be honest.
Tremain does capture the pain of loneliness and isolation and feeling trapped by your life. Her mother’s constant put downs reflect her own insecurities and dissatisfaction with her life and her weak attempts to defend herself go nowhere.
I know I’m supposed to feel sorry for Fran that her lover won’t leave his wife. The read is expected feel happy at the end when her lovelorn Blackberry ‘poem’ wrecks his marriage and devastates his wife, not to mention the storm wrecks the only thing her isolated and aged mother loves because she gets to run off with another woman’s husband.
In clunky prose and a very weak plot driven solely by the use of a mobile phone, the main character comes across as whiny and selfish who is obvious to the feelings and loneliness of the people around as all that matters is her own.