Today we have our voice from the borders, J A Warnock sharing with us her thoughts on Twice the Speed by Lulu Allison. This literary fiction novel was published by Unbound Digital in November 2017.
A mother and daughter circle each other, bound by love, separated by fatal violence.
Dismayed by the indifference she sees in the news to people who die in distant war and terror, Anna writes portraits of the victims, trying to understand the real impact of their deaths.
Meanwhile, Anna’s daughter, killed by a violent boyfriend, tells her own story from the perplexing realms of death, reclaiming herself from the brutality.
Anna’s life is stifled by heartache; it is only through these acts of love for strangers that she allows herself an emotional connection to the world.
Can Anna free herself from the bondage of grief and find a connection to her daughter once more?
‘Twice the Speed of Dark’ is a poignant story about love, loss and the utter destruction wreaked by tragedy. It is cleverly written mainly from the perspective of a grieving mother so that, as reader, we can see the public face, the mask and the truth behind it often all on the same page. Utterly entwined and yet purposefully separate there is also a ghost, coming to terms with her story and searching for her own kind of peace which ties the story together and helps carry it along. Lulu Allison uses structure to great effect in this regard.
Use of language in ‘Twice the Speed of Dark’ is imaginative and ethereal though I will admit that on occasion I found myself so swept up in the rhythm and imagery that I was a little side-tracked from the point that Allison was trying to make. There is a fluidity that although captivating can be a little distracting but it is a writing style that neatly mirrors the transience of her spirit realm. It is worth persevering even if, like me, you do not immediately take to it. As the story unravels the writing also become clearer which gives the book a nice symmetry. If written in short sharp sentences, the book would have been over in about 14 pages but any reader who longs for the abridged highlights would entirely miss the point. This is a book that develops thoughts, feelings and the process rather than capture a precise outcome or plot.
The characters are well developed and Allison makes it possible to relate to the unthinkable which is a skill in itself. Three Stars.
By J A Warnock on behalf of Love Books Group
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