Review: At the End of the Day by Liz Byrski


Title: At the End of the Day

Author: Liz Byrski

Published: 28th September 2021, Macmillan Australia

Status: Read November 2021 courtesy Pan Macmillan Australia


My Thoughts:

A heartwarming, uplifting story about friendship, family, love, acceptance and change, in Liz Byrski’s eleventh novel, At the End of the Day, it’s during an unexpected delay in Doha that Miriam Squires, heading home to Perth after visiting her sister in England, strikes up a conversation with Mathias Vander, who is on his way to visit his daughter after spending time with a childhood friend in Belgium.

The pair are surprised by the immediate rapport that develops between them and are reluctant to dismiss their fortuitous meeting on arriving in Australia. In their seventies, they each have concerns about the baggage they carry, Mim is struggling with the debilitating effects of post polio syndrome, Mathias with a secret he’s kept hidden his entire life, and both are anxious about their futures. These are lovely characters, fully realised and portrayed authentically. Through them Byrski explores issues related to ageing, including frustration with physical limitations and compromised independence, as well as those related to mental health such as identity and self-worth.

While Mim and Mathias move towards reconciling with their pasts and making decisions about their futures, Mathias’s daughter Carla is mourning the end of another relationship, until an introduction to a friend of Mim’s, Jodie, sparks new hope. Though they are decades younger, the stories of Carla and Jodie in part reflect those of Mim and Mathias as Jodie struggles to recover from her injuries after a car accident, and Carla musters the courage to trust her heart again.

Written with tenderness, charm and wisdom, At the End of the Day is an engaging, character driven novel with the life-affirming message that it’s never too late to pursue happiness.


Available from Pan Macmillan Australia

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carla
    Nov 13, 2021 @ 00:34:03

    These are all themes that I enjoy, especially being in my mid 60s. Wonderful review.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Liz Dexter
    Nov 13, 2021 @ 05:30:30

    This sounds excellent. I’m sure one of her books was published by the late, lamented Transita Publishing, who made it their mission to only put out books about women in later years.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Kathryn
    Nov 14, 2021 @ 07:30:53

    I just think Liz B is amazing and I read about how unwell she had been previous to writing this book but went ahead. I have about three of her back log books on my shelf to read as well.

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Trackback: It Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out

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