Saturday, 21 June 2014

Blood Family by Anne Fine

Does the past ever leave you?

Another Carnegie Award nominee and one that fits the criteria well, that is if the criteria is yet another depressing story. Possibly my mistake was going from The Bunker Diary to this story but I finished this one feeling disappointed.

The story focuses on Eddie, a young boy who at 7 years old is rescued from the home he has been imprisoned in with his mother by his evil stepfather Harris. Through first person accounts we learn how Eddie deals with discovering the world having been locked up for several years. Eddie appears to be a surprisingly well adjusted young man. However, after many years in his adopted family we watch Eddies struggles grow. He develops a strong anger towards his mother (Lucy) blaming her for not rescuing them. Adding to his troubles is a startling discover. On a school trip he is select for an age progression photograph and who Eddie sees starting back at him is the spitting image of his stepfather Harris. This sends Eddie down a bad path. He turns to drugs and drink and succumbs to the raging torment inside him.

I felt this story was engaging but I was disheartened by the negative direction the story took. I know it was part of Eddie’s character but to start with him seems to have survived the brutality and this is such an uplifting feeling however, once you get into the nitty gritty of the story you released he is far more damaged. I know that is probably the more realistic version but I think after the disturbing events in The Bunker Diary I could have used a more idyllic story. Personally I thought Fine could have done more to develop Eddie’s issue with his mother. I did not feel these were explored enough for me as I felt they were a fascinating incite to how a character may feel having had to deal with such an awful upbringing. 

This is a superbly written story that does lead you through a range of emotions. I get the impression it is well researched as well which is something I appreciate in authors. If you are a fan of other stories by Anne Fine such as Tulip Touch this is definitely going to be up your street.  I would advise some caution for younger readers as the subject matter is not pleasant. 

Worthy of it's nomination, just a bit sad for me.

1 comment:

  1. You've been nominated for a Liebster Award!