Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace;
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go;
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for its living;
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.
I've really enjoyed reading the mystery series starring Dr. Frieda Klein. Written by a husband and wife team that call themselves Nicci French, these are solid mysteries that carry the reader along the many walks and paths that the protagonist, Frieda, travels. The title of 4th book in the series, Thursday's Children, seemed appropriate to describe Frieda herself - a woman who has far to go. She has gone far away from the place she was born and raised, trained as a psychotherapist, crossed paths with damaged people, helped many of them, been involved with crime solving, been attacked, stalked, ridiculed, and shunned. She has also been loved by her few friends and colleagues. I've always known that this woman had some dreadful hurt in her past. In Thursday's Children, we begin to see what Frieda walked away from and why.
Over a year has passed since the events of Waiting For Wednesday. Life has continued and Frieda is back to seeing patients again. She is contacted by someone from her past, a woman she knew when they were teenage girls in the small Suffolk coastal town where they grew up. Maddie Capel's 15-year-old daughter, Becky, has been having all kinds of problems and Maddie asks Frieda to talk to the girl. Becky is at first resistant, but soon she shares a horrific secret - she believes that she has been raped in her own bed by someone who whispered to her, "Don't think of telling anyone, sweetheart. No one will believe you". However, someone does believe her - Frieda sits numbly remembering a very similar incident from her own past - "No one will believe you". The journey to discover the person who has attacked this young girl and perhaps Frieda herself takes Dr. Klein back to her home town. She must face her teenage friends, her old teachers, and even her mother. Frieda has been gone for over 20 years. What can she find out after all this time? Lots, it turns out.
Again, Dr. Frieda Klein is quite the favorite for me right now. I've known from the beginning that she has dark places within her. Her unnatural calm in the face of trauma has been honed because of events in her own life. She does have feelings - deep feelings. And, after meeting her mother in this book, well, I understand why she has needed to protect herself to a certain extent. She goes the extra mile in some ways, but in others, she may seem callous. If you've read these books, I'd love to know your opinion of her. I find her fascinating. And I love many of the secondary characters as well. They won't let Frieda push them away and she has realized that and has come to depend on them over time. This episode will cement further many of those ties.
Thursday's Children has not been published in US yet, so my copy was acquired from a used bookstore. I am eagerly waiting on the next book, which I've preordered from the UK, Friday On My Mind. It will be published in July.
I'll leave you once again with a quote. Frieda is speaking to the teenage girl, Becky:
'You're in control here. It might not feel like it. You can talk or be silent, you can leave whenever you want. You can tell me things, and I'm not going to judge you or be shocked. I'm here to help you to say things that you haven't been able to talk about. Sometimes when you say things, acknowledge them, they become less frightening.'
'Why? They're just stupid words. They can't change anything.'
'It can be like shining a light into a dark corner. Or perhaps it's more like staring long enough at the darkness so that you become accustomed to it and can make out the shapes it hides. Fears that we don't have a name for have power over us. Think of this time as an opportunity to gain some kind of control.'