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That Dark Remembered Day
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That Dark Remembered Day

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  84 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Can you ever know what those closest to you are really capable of?

A son returns to the small town where he grew up, where his mother still lives and where a terrible event in his childhood changed the lives of almost every person living there. As the story unfolds through the eyes of the son, the mother and finally, the father, the reader experiences the taut build up to o
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published March 13th 2014 by Headline (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  84 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Cleopatra  Pullen
A contemplative read which demands to be read, absorbed and reflected upon. Cleverly and carefully it lays the groundwork before revealing what happened on That Dark Remembered Day.

The narrative is shared between Stephen, now a technician at a university but at the time the book opens, in 1983, an awkward teenager, his mother Mary and his father Richard. In 1983 Richard had returned from the Falklands, his final posting before discharge from the arm and at its heart, this book is a reflection on
Liz Barnsley
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Coming March 13th From Headline.

Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy via netgalley.

A son returns to the small town where he grew up, where his mother still lives and where a terrible event in his childhood changed the lives of almost every person living there. As the story unfolds through the eyes of the son, the mother and finally, the father, the reader experiences the taut build up to one day’s tragic unravelling, and the shock waves that echoed through a once happy famil
Sue G
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's autumn 2012 and Stephen seems to have everything - he's married with a young daughter, he has a job he enjoys, but an out of character act may have put all of this in jeopardy. When he receives an unexpected phone call suggesting that his mother may be unwell circumstances prompt him to return to the town he last saw as a teenager. It is obvious that some terrible event occurred in the past and that somehow Stephen was involved (this is 'That Dark Remembered Day') but Vowler, as with What L ...more
Beth (bibliobeth)
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
First of all, many thanks to the teams at BookBridgr and Headline for giving me the opportunity to read this exciting new talent in thriller writing. That Dark and Remembered Day is Tom Vowler’s second novel and I enjoyed it so much that I instantly purchased his debut, What Lies Within. The story centres around a family – Richard, Mary and their two children, Stephen and Jenny and is told in three parts with three distinct voices, those of Stephen, Mary and finally the father Richard, focusing ...more
Sara Townsend
This is a very dark book, but I wouldn't classify it as crime fiction. It's really a study of grief, the story of a soldier who returns from the Falklands War with what we now know as PTSD, but I guess back then it wasn't so well known. Hence, he does not get the help he needs and is the instigator of a tragic event that changes the town forever. Years later the soldier's son returns to the town to visit his sick mother, who never left, trying to come to terms with the shattered life he tried to ...more
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Because I’d been so taken by Tom Vowler’s earlier novel What Lies Within, I was determined to read this. Both were beautifully written and in each the sense of foreboding escalated as the novels progressed. However, this was so very dark that I lost heart at one point, but I did eventually finish the job! It was written in 2014, before the outbreaks of violence perpetrated by lone gunmen had become quite so prevalent. Part of the action takes place in the Falklands during WWI, where one of the p ...more
Elena Kaufman
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
An engaging read which unravels family complications and secrets. The setting is so well drawn that the story relies on it as well. Well written prose, well paced. A recommended read.
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“Dulce et decorum est…”

When Stephen Briggs returns to the town of his childhood to visit his elderly mother, he is forced to remember the events of the day that shattered his life and family, and caused aftershocks that are still rippling through this small community. Back in 1982, his parents had bought Highfield, a dilapidated old house overlooking the town. Richard would leave his career in the Army and together he and Mary would convert the barns into holiday cottages for rent and then live
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Tom Vowler’s second novel, That Dark Remembered Day, opens with what could be a recurring nightmare: a boy on the cusp of young adulthood gets off the school bus in Spring 1983, full of hope and fuzzy expectations and, on his way home, walks into something that quickly shatters that child’s happy innocence forever.

The book then fast-forwards to Autumn 2012 and Stephen, a grown man with a family of his own and a job that stems from one of his passions. Unfortunately, unresolved anger issues and d
Jess Bickerton
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Firstly, thanks to bookbridgr and Headline Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read Tom Vowler’s second novel. When it arrived I found the cover captivating and I couldn’t wait to delve into the story.

That Dark Remembered Day delves into a dark world of pain and resentment; a community, and individuals, left devastated by the aftermath of one man’s war with himself. I don’t want to give too much away about the story, as I believe a great deal of its appeal comes from the mystery behind
Jackie Law
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
That Dark Remembered Day, by Tom Vowler, explores the impact on individual lives of trauma, family and blame.

A soldier returns from the Falklands War damaged by his experiences. Neither he nor his family know how to cope with the change in him, which culminates in an act of violence so brutal as to affect the entire town in which they live. The book presents the build up to this event from each of the characters points of view. The lasting effects on the son, now a father himself, are described
Karen Cole
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's 2012 and Stephen should be happy, he lives near the sea with a loving wife and child and has fulfilling job as a university technician. In fact he's angry, angry enough to risk losing his job when in a moment of madness he loses his temper. Now on suspension he is spending more and more time drinking in the pub. Then comes the phone call telling him his mother is ill and asking him to return to the place he has tried to forget. Something awful happened in Stephen's past, something that tore ...more
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thrillers, crime
This tale, as dark as the title suggests, gripped me from the first page. Though one learns very early -- indeed from reading the cover blurbs -- that some terrible incident has left Stephen Briggs a damaged man, it takes the rest of the novel to uncover what happened and why.

The backstory leading up to the tragedy is told from three perspectives, giving the decisions taken by the main characters context. I could empathise with each one as they grappled with their own difficult circumstances, t
Kate Wilson
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
That Dark Remembered Day tells the story of Stephen, a grown man whose life has been turned upside down by his own violent actions. When he hears that his Mother is unwell he makes the journey to the town in which he grew up only to be confronted with the past he has long since tried to escape. As the story unfolds, we are introduced to Stephen’s mother and father, a nurse and soldier as they recount the events leading up to a tragic day in the summer of 1982 where their lives were destroyed.

Free finished paperback copy from author via blog raffle win at Scott Pack's Me And My Big Mouth

As the title suggests, this is a dark story. In 2012, Stephen reluctantly returns to the village of his youth to visit his ailing mother. A tragedy happened here when Stephen was fifteen and he has spent his life trying to put it behind him. We know that it involved his family but the depth of the 1983 tragedy is revealed slowly as the novel progresses. The events of 1983 are told from three points
Anne Goodwin
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Stephen is in trouble, suspended from work after a violent outburst that’s left him shaken and his wife concerned for their shared future. She wants him to talk about his childhood; he is terrified of resurrecting the ghosts of the past. Yet when he gets a phone call telling him his mother is unwell, he decides it’s time to pay her a visit in the town where the events of a single day shattered so many lives.
You know you’re in safe hands with a writer who uses the word crescendo correctly on the
Miriam Drori
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a novel that will remain with me for a long time. It revolves around one tragic event from the past, showing how one character has tried and failed to escape from it while another has never left it.

Events of this type have been written about before, but in the others that I've read it has been clear from the start, the rest of the novel attempting to understand why and how. This novel leaves the reader wondering until close to the end. As the end approached, I was keen to know what happe
Dec 23, 2016 rated it liked it
It's difficult to tell what this book is about. A middle-age man comes back to the village where he was born and from which he had to escape many years ago. Little by little we discover what happened "that dark remembered day" through 3 different voices (son -mother - father).

The description of countryside landscape is a delight and some inner thoughts are very well expressed. However, the plot is rather week and it takes lots of pages for the story to move forward. Besides, it feels like the co
Dan Coxon
Mar 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ignore the cover if you can... This isn't a trashy genre read, but a smart, contemplative family drama that contains some genuinely wonderful writing. I don't want to say too much about the plot, for fear of giving it away, but it views the same cataclysmic event through a prism of characters, circling what happened to try and approach the grain of truth at its core. The passages on the Falklands war are well judged and feel distressingly real, while the attention paid to the natural world is sp ...more
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because it was favourably mentioned on the website for The Guardian's Not the Booker Prize. It is a moving story of a family torn apart by tragedy. There are various hints on the way, but the full revelation of what occurred only comes near the very end of the novel. The narrator's father was involved in the war for the Falkland Islands. The novel shows how society didn't really understand what happened and the impact it had on the people involved. It made me realise how rarely it is ...more
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book by Tom Vowler, the first one I have read. Set in the 1980s, a time when I was a teenager, I had some knowledge of the events that inspired this very dark novel. It is told from three points of view. The son, then the mother, the father and finally the son again. The second half of the book was difficult to read. The terrible event, what led to it and the devastating conclusion was one I didn't expect.
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Brooding novel of Steven returning to his hometown after being told that his mother is ill. Flashbacks of his childhood lead up to his father returning from the Falklands, obviously suffering PTSD, but left to 'get over it'. Hints are made of something dreadful happening that affects the whole town. Very atmospheric in the telling, it was slow to start, then became a page turner.
Jane Walker
Jun 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I didn't read the e-book edition, but the paperback, which doesn't seem to be listed here.
I normally dislike books which skip between time periods and between the perspectives of different characters. It often seems that a straight narrative has had its chapters shuffled for no good reason. This book is, at least, constructed in this way for good reason. And by and large it works.
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dark tale from the views of Stephen,his mum then the father. The build up to what happened to the family and the town. Hopefully the fathers situation would have been helped today, but you can never be sure. I did enjoy the book it was well written.
Paula P
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another excellent un put downable read from Tom Vowler. Again from page 1 I was gripped, even though I found this slightly predictable I still had to know what happened next

Dismal, but touching.
Lisa Williams
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Perfection. Once again- Exactly what I want in a book. Eagerly awaiting his next...
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review forthcoming in The List.
Emma Slaughter
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written, and i will honestly say i did not see the twist at the end, this is a far deeper book than the blurb on the outside will lead you to believe. Highly recommended
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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TOM VOWLER is an award-winning novelist and short story writer living in south west England. His debut story collection, The Method, won the Scott Prize and the Edge Hill Readers' Prize, while his novel What Lies Within received critical acclaim. He is co-editor of the literary journal Unthology and an associate lecturer in creative writing at Plymouth University, where he completed his PhD. His s ...more