This was a tough one to read. A very normal family of mother, father and two daughters and what happens when one of them is stricken with mental illness of a psychotic kind.
Rozzy is the apple of her father's eye. He thinks the world of her when she is born, and believes she is capable of greatness. His ambition for her is boundless. When Bess is born, she comes a poor second for the father and this is apparent throughout the book. But what does Ben do when his bright star turns out to be really ill. He locks her out of his mind and heart, as if she did not exist at all, showing no care, love or remorse for her.
The story of Rozzy and how her faithful sister tries at every turn to protect and help her so that she does not fall into even greater trouble than she tends to do is a greater part of this book. At the same time Bess is embarrassed by Rozzy's illness and the negativity that surrounds both of them as a result. Not relying on either their mother and father, the sisters try to manage their affairs on their own. Bea the mother seems also distant, not really a part of the crisis though she certainly feels more than Ben. Bea herself seems to be someone who takes the path of least resistance so that she is on the fence all the time. She wants to be able to appease Ben at all times rather than to reach out to her daughter.
It was a difficult read because it showed how human the family unit actually is and that everyone has their frailties which cannot be faulted in anyway. How the parents and sister had to handle Rozzy's illness and her behaviour in society and how each of them tried to at the same time get on with their own lives is not easy. Ben's behaviour was horrible and I detested him. The mother came a close second.
Despite being a tough read the story was an excellent one, very well narrated.
The book was sent to me by Netgalley courtesy of Open Road Integrated Media.