Shadow Child – book review


There have been so many posts on ‘love and its various forms’ in recent times. I wrote about it here and more recently here, when I said people must not use ‘gay’ as a swear word. Well, in theory, being gay is as normal as being straight.

When I picked up this book – SHADOW CHILD – from my local library, I thought it would just make a quick weekend read.

I was slightly wrong.

It was a quick read for sure. Weekend material too. But I wouldn’t brand it chick-lit or anything frivolous.

In fact it left quite an impression!

Here is the synopsis from Waterstones.

‘…There is no right way to deal with the loss of a beloved son. Marion and Tom are doing their dignified best, but their own relationship is taking a battering. So when a fierce, strange woman turns up and demands to see the dead boy, Marion is almost glad of the distraction. Against Tom’s wishes, she determines to find out more about her son’s life away from home. The quest takes her out of her comfortable, conventional world to a shabby office in East London, and a series of shocks…’

This is the story of Marion, whose son dies all of a sudden, soon after which she gets to know about his shocking secret. A secret that changes the course of her life.

But in the process, it also opens up her mind – from a society where ‘love’ is clearly defined to ‘acceptance’ of other uncommon forms of love. It opens her heart and home to a woman she would have normally scorned or avoided like the plague.

It deals with lesbian couples and their relationship. And how an average person cannot comprehend this sort of love, and sexual relationship. Most importantly, the story does not try to ‘change’ the lesbian couple into a ‘normal’ one. Nor does it try to bring about a radical change in the mindset of the ‘normal’ couple. They live, each to themselves, in an extremely mature equation, managing to give due respect to each other, for whatever they are!!

I cannot reveal any more in this space, as it would spoil your experience of reading the book (if you do intend to read it, that is!!)

I liked the way Libby Purves has dealt with the grief of the parents, over their lost child. Venting of grief takes various forms.. sometimes it is by way of yelling, crying, and sometimes just silence. Silence so loud, it can be deafening!!

The author has handled the fragile relationship between the husband and wife. Trust, suspicion, sorrow, love… it is a roller coaster ride, typical of any relation, and the author has done a very good job of this.

But most of all, I loved the way the mother finally finds her peace.

And to think that the author herself had lost her son a couple of years ago.. it was quite heart-wrenching.

I think it is people like these who are the real heroes. Normal, ordinary, common folks, who survive the greatest sorrows that life throws at them.

Quite simply, I liked ‘Shadow Child’. Am afraid my review does not do this book justice!

Would it suffice to say I would give this 3.5 on 5?

18 thoughts on “Shadow Child – book review

  1. Oh my God! So, so many posts to read! I see I`ve missed much. Pal, is there a way I can follow you or something so that I get to see your posts as you publish? I`ve missed out on so much! I have been insanely busy too. But I get some posts on my blogger account and it`s easier to keep up. Otherwise I have to check every few days to see if you`ve posted anything or not! I think wordpress doesnt allow you to follow a blog, does it?
    Dont publish this comment if you dont want to.
    I`ll come back later to read all the posts. For now, hugs!

    1. I use google reader Piper :)

      I haven’t yet got down to using Google Reader, Swaram. I must learn to, though. I rely on my WordPress ‘Readomatic’ but it can hold only 25 blogs at a time, and nothing from Blogspot, so its practically useless!!

  2. Oh Good Lord! You dont have comment moderation! :(
    On second thoughts, me FIRST!!!!! FINALLY !!!! :):)

    LOL, no I don’t :-) And congrats on being ‘first’ :-)

    1. Pal & Swaram: I`ve subscribed to the RSS feed!! The G taught me how to! :):) So finally all your posts will come to my email :):)

      Wowie!! Teach me too, Piper!

  3. Oh I must read this book. You know, very close friends of ours lost their baby boy 7 days before the due date. And they will never be able to conceive again too. It`s just traumatic to even see them struggle through each day. May be this will help a bit…

    Oh, that is so sad….I hope they decide to adopt though, Piper. A child in the house changes life so dramatically (for the better ofcourse) that it is worth every trouble!

    1. To adopt a child in the USA, you have to be a US citizen who has resided here for 5 years after acquiring citizenship. To adopt from India, you need to reside in India for 2 years before adopting. These friends have a green card but are a long way from citizenship. They can apply for a citizenship only after 4 more years and then wait another 5, to adopt!! They have good jobs here. To quit and move to India(in such a sorry state of economy) is pbly not in their list of options, though they have been thinking about it. Such is life, Pal. It`s never an easy ride. However, I do of people who have been judgmental of these guys, because they are thinking 50 times before deciding to quit their jobs and move to India for 2 years. It`s never an easy decision – esp one of this magnitude. Anyway..

  4. this is not my kinda book re..I prefer a light read with some drama, massala and suspense :D but you write reviews amazingly darling :)

    LOL! Thank you!! And this is exactly my kind of read.. gloomy and serious :-)

  5. Pal. I didn’t like the new theme. :( Too pink! :P

    Anyway. Thanks for the recco! Will read! :)

    LOL, OK I am going to change it to something else today!!

  6. my oh my so many people write on book reviews I guess they READ A LOT.. oh man i shud d oit too , life has become so busy ..

    Loved the synopisis and makes it a interesting read… I will see if i can get it from our local library and give it a good read .. and then tell if you said was right :)

    Though i liked the line where you said GAY is as normal as straight…

  7. Interesting review. Hope to read the book soon :) Ingeyy there is no decent library near where I live, can you believe it?

  8. Pals, I don’t know how I missed this post of yours! I love this review, Pals! Am sure to pick this book up. Sounds just like my kind of read..

    Oh please do, Smitha. Its a pretty quick read and touching too, but not the kind that will depress the reader!!

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