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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lacey's House by Joanne Graham

This book was sent to me courtesy of Legend Press and Netgalley. Thank you.

This story is an unusual one. We have Lacey an old woman, living a very solitary life in this small village. She has lived there her entire life first as the doctor's daughter and now known as an eccentric old woman who dresses very colourfully and is considered by the local children as one whom they can ridicule especially at Halloween.

Rachel is a newcomer to the area. She has moved here to get on with her life after the desolation of a miscarriage which somehow left her feeling that she has to take a stand and do something new in her life. 

The unexpected friendship between the two women - two generations, two different walks of life and even temperament is the basis of the story. The warmth of Rachel who realizes very early on that Lacey is isolated and lonely and the way Lacey appreciates what Rachel can offer is very sensitively told. The history of Lacey is a very sad one. Dominated by a father who physically and mentally abused his only child and even gave her electric shock treatment and lobotomized her hoping that he could change her ways was brutal even for the reader.  That a parent could behave like this was so difficult to even read. The fact that Lacey remained good natured and kind throughout added to the contrasts between herself and her father.   I am only glad that mental illness now does not have the stigma that it carried for families in days gone by and we can look at it in a more humane manner.

The story of a friendship between two people and the building up of trust between someone whose trust has been abused and misused over the years and how with quiet support and love trust can be restored is Joanne Graham's debut novel. 

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