by Joan Ellis
My rating: 5 stars
Publication Date: December 1, 2014
Publisher: Joan Ellis Publications
Print Length: 219 pages
Available from: Amazon
You died in April 1965, a
month before your fifth birthday. You were probably dead long before
Mum downed her third gin with Porky Rawlings.
Seven year old Susan is alone with her younger brother when he dies of an overdose.
The Guilt informs the rest of her life.
When it threatens to destroy not only her but her relationship with her new baby,she must revisit the past to find the truth.
What she discovers is as horrifying as it is magical.
Guilt by Joan Ellis
What kind of parents would assume a seven-year-old could supervise a four-year-old while left home alone? Susan’s mother did just that, leaving her to keep her inquisitive young brother, the family favorite out of trouble. Accidents happen, freak accidents when anyone turns their back on a child. That night little Mark decided to try his mother’s “candy” and he died. The tenuous family ties were shredded and her mother left, leaving her with only her cold and distant father and the weight of the guilt of having been at fault for her brother’s death and destroying her family. When Susan gave birth to her own son, she failed to bond, failed to connect out of fear that she would also kill him. Her spiral into severe depression made her completely dysfunctional. Susan’s daily conversations with her brother was a rehash of every fault and flaw she had, real or imagined as the damage done to her by two self-absorbed and emotionally crippled parents. Was it her way of further punishing herself? Even the father of her son became distant and aloof, fearing for the child’s safety. When kind woman took her under her wing, Susan finally felt the love of a mother, but was it too late? What if one small detail had been given to her all those years ago? Would she finally be able to accept that what happened to Mark was never her fault, that they were both victims? Abuse comes in all forms, but the emotional and mental abuse of a child may never fully heal and until Susan participates in her recovery will she ever find peace?
Joan Ellis packs an emotional punch with her novel, Guilt, one brutal bare-fisted punch after another. Her development of this tale and her characters will weigh heavily on your heart and mind as flawed characters attempt to deal blindly with Susan’s issues. Throughout Ms. Ellis has created a pain-filled world where her heroine seems most alive in her mind, with her conversations with Mark, keeping the rest of the world at a distance. I had to ask myself, what would I do? Would I keep my past a secret or would I realize that a seven-year-old is not equipped mentally or emotionally for what was asked of her? Ms. Ellis shows us Susan’s internal pleas for love, forgiveness and to be allowed into the world of the living. From the first page, this dark and riveting tale of abuse and its aftermath will scrape at your heart, and fester in your mind as you realize, this is not as farfetched as it seems. Wonderful writing, straight from the soul, Ms. Ellis has created strong connections with readers using her words.
I received this copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.