The Loss Adjustor – Aifric Campbell

“I was born in a place that presumed departure. A strip of kerbless road that claimed village status but was really only known for its proximity to other larger, more substantial places. When i was six years old our lives were transformed by the opening of a bypass that took all the traffic away and turned us overnight to a dead end. From then on we were access only and would stand astride ou bikes in the new cul-de-sac where we practised our wheelies watching lost drivers make sloppy u-turns, gears screaming  in reverse before they sped off to their true destination two miles further south: a thriving town, a retail park and all the other places where people actually wanted to go.”

Caro has a structured life. She goes from day to day working and spending her Sundays visiting the graveyard in which her friend, Estelle, was buried twenty years ago. Her structure is thrown out when Tom, an old man who also frequents the graveyard, starts talking to her a year after they go by not speaking on their visits. Tom, accompanied by his strange dog Jack, opens Caro up to new experiences and she finds herself silently going over parts of her life
Estelle and Cormac were Caros best friends and she lost them both in the same summer. One dead, the other gone, Caro carried on through life alone. That is until Cormac contacts her out of the blue, she expects to talk like old friends, go over everything that happened and has since gone on.
The Loss Adjustor really wasn’t what I expected. I read it and thought that there was perhaps a mystery to be uncovered about the friendship, about Cormac, or about Estelle’s death. What it was actually about came as a very nice surprise, and it was a really good read. Caro really isn’t someone I can relate to, she’s ordered and calculated and a bit of a loner. Her mother is the same, not moving from the kitchen of her house, just reading as many books as she can get a hold of. The family dynamics were unusual to say the least but I’m glad of how they turned out.
I liked that throughout the story you had parts of Caro’s personality come out but without the control that Caro usually held onto. It struck me that Caro didn’t want any emotional attachment and hadn’t since the loss of Estelle. When Caro goes over parts of her childhood with Estelle and Cormac it’s obvious that the relationship wasn’t exactly a normal one. Three isn’t a good number and this is very evident in this story.  It’s obvious that Caro’s personality comes from their friendship and what happened between them, you could see that Caro had had her heart broken, in places by the both of them.
The name of the story is a highly important part of this story. Not only is Caro a loss adjustor, someone who calculates the loss of a person’s insurance claim, but she is also still adjusting to the loss of her friend. I liked this link a lot and although parts of the end of the book is left for the reader to speculate I believe that it is very fitting when you take into account this link.
I loved the character of Tom. He surprised me a lot because I expected the story to be completely focussed on Caro and Cormac. Tom appeared to me to be on a mission and I think he probably fulfilled that mission. I also loved the stories that her told of the war and the way Aifric told these stories really captivated me.
I read a lot of young adult books and it was nice to have a break from young adult. The story line grabbed my attention when I believed it would deal with a death within friends and even though it wasn’t what I expected I still got sucked into it. I thought it a little slow to start off with once I got into it, probably around the point where Tom started talking to Caro, I couldn’t put the book down!
A huge thank you to Jazzmine of Even Butterflies Think for sending me this from her internship with the publishers, Serpents Tail