The Knot by Mark Watson

theknot

The Knot is a book I picked up years ago which I hadn’t got round to reading. It is written by Mark Watson, who you may also recognise as being a comedian as well as an author. It was actually whilst watching an episode of Taskmaster (brilliant show!) recently that I thought to myself ‘I should really read that Mark Watson book!’

The Knot tells the story of Dominic Kitchen, a wedding photographer who is troubled by past memories. The Knot in the title refers not only to the couples who have tied the knot during his career, but to the tense feeling inside Dominic that threatens his own chance of happiness. The story is told in four parts each one dealing with a particular period in Dominic’s life. As the years go by we see how his career began, how he stumbled upon love, and most crucially the relationships he had with his family – some of which become more and more complicated. I enjoyed learning about Dominic’s early life, and discovering more about the family surrounding him. When I first picked up this book I thought the blurb and cover art hinted at a lighter story, but this is a novel which deals with some uncomfortable subject matter, as the complexity of Dominic’s situation and its impact through the years becomes clearer.

I found this to be an enjoyable read which is ultimately about love and relationships and how they change over the years. And whilst the situation for Dominic was an unusual one, there was plenty to relate to in this book – parental bonds, sibling rivalries and coming of age. The story is packed with emotion as it delves deeper into a family’s history, and explores how certain moments from our past can stay with us for a lifetime. For Dominic he is haunted by his past, and a particular act which is becoming increasingly harder to ignore, to the point that it has an impact on his family life in the present day. We are presented with a man who is struggling to come to terms with this feeling within him, the conflicting emotions he feels, which he has to hide away. And for a man who has spent decades photographing couples on their perfect wedding days, it gives him more opportunity to dwell on his own relationships – and opportunities to make more mistakes. But whilst this story deals with serious issues, there is also humour to be found and I particularly enjoyed the observations from wedding days along with the portrayal of the little intricacies of daily family life

I enjoyed reading The Knot, and would be interested in reading more of Watson’s books. I must admit there were aspects of the story that were not what I expected but I found this to be a book that deals with an array of emotions which many readers can relate to. It is a story which looks back on a life in all its complexity, which is told with warmth.

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