Tag Archives: conceiving

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?