Victoria Park by Gemma Reeves

I was recently sent an advanced copy of this book from Readers First to review, it is released on the the 7th January 2021. Victoria Park is not a person; which I assumed at first, but rather a residential area of London surrounding a park. Reeves’ debut solo novel tells a number of different stories from all of the residents of Victoria Park.

We meet characters such a Wolfie and Mona, a couple about to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary, but who’s worlds have been turned upside by dementia. Luca who is taking over Wolfie’s deli and his family who are struggling in their own ways.

All in all there are twelve different stories told over the period of a year. Reeve’s deals sensitively with a diverse range of topics; religion, sexuality, gender, IVF and infidelity amongst other things. It’s very interesting how the stories weaves together.

I found the writing of this novel really beautiful and the connection developed to each character in such a short period of time was impressive. I still stand by my ‘first look’ that it is lovely to read something more realistic and not dramatised. However, although I loved the short snippet of insight into each character, I was left feeling unresolved. Other than for Wolfie and Mona and Mia and Bettie, there is no conclusion. Although some of the stories don’t require a definite conclusion I felt others do. For example, who was the attacker in the park? Did the boy ever wake up from his coma? Did Freddy come out to his family?

It probably isn’t my usual read but it was a nice change and I would be interested to read more from Reeves in the future.

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