My new shrink asks me, ‘What things do you remember about being very young?’
It’s like looking into a murky river, I say. Memories flash near the surface like fish coming up for flies. The past peeps out, startles me, and then is gone…
Amanda secludes herself in her bedroom, no longer willing to face the outside world. Gradually, she pieces together the story of her life: her brothers have had to abandon her, her mother scarcely talks to her, and the Wacky Man could return any day to burn the house down. Just like he promised.
As her family disintegrates, Amanda hopes for a better future, a way out from the violence and fear that has consumed her childhood. But can she cling to her sanity, before insanity itself is her only means of escape?
I’ve seen The Wacky Man reviewed on a couple of my favourite blogs and I immediately added it to my wishlist. I was therefore thrilled when the publisher got in touch to offer me the chance to review this book for the blog tour.
The Wacky Man is a very powerful and moving novel. It’s an unflinching look at how childhood abuse, and abuse within a marriage, causes such damage – not just physical damage but the emotional impact. It shows how even once the bruises have healed and the perpetrator of the violence is no longer in the home, that the devastation remains for such a long time. It causes breakdowns between the victims because although each person lived through it, they all got broken in a different way and it can become impossible to put things back together.
I found some aspects of this book very difficult to read, some parts because there are small echoes of experiences in my own life and some parts because it was just so harrowing to read. At no point did I want to stop reading though as the novel just pulls you right in and doesn’t let you go. I wanted to know if Amanda was going to be ok, and was desperately hoping she would be. I have such a vivid image of her in my mind, she feels like a real person to me as she was so well written and this makes the novel feel all the more devastating.
Lyn G. Farrell’s writing style is incredible – to write about such harrowing things and yet make it so compelling, and at times, really quite beautiful is a rare talent. I can absolutely say that this is a book that will stay with me for a very long time to come, and I feel sure it will be in my top books of this year.
I rated this book 5 out of 5 and highly recommend it.
I received a copy of this book from Legend Press in exchange for an honest review.
The Wacky Man is out now and available Amazon.
About the Author
Lyn G. Farrell is the winner of the 2015 Luke Bitmead Bursary and The Wacky Man is her debut novel.
Lyn grew up in Lancashire where she would have gone to school if life had been different. She spent most of her teenage years reading anything she could get her hands on.
She studied Psychology at the University of Leeds and now works in the School of Education at Leeds Beckett University.
Follow Lyn Farrell on Twitter @FarrellWrites