Book Review: The Illustrated Child
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins
Total Pages: 414
Author: Polly Crosby
About the Author:
After a whirlwind of a year which saw Polly receive writing scholarships from both Curtis Brown Creative and The University of East Anglia’s MA in Creative Writing, she went on to be runner up in the Bridport Prize’s Peggy Chapman Andrews Award for a First Novel.
Polly’s novel was snapped up by HarperCollins HQ in the UK and Commonwealth in a 48 hour pre-empt, and a few days later by HarperCollins Park Row Books in North America.
Polly grew up on the Suffolk coast, and now lives in the heart of Norfolk with her husband and son, and her very loud and much-loved rescue Oriental cat, Dali.
The Illustrated Child is her first novel. Her second novel, The Unravelling, is coming in autumn ‘21. You can know more about her and her projects on her website.
The illustrated Child Review:
The cover has a slight grey background, with a free willed girl, enjoying her freedom. She stands on what looks like paint brush strokes, and below it “a picture paints a thousand lies…” is written.
From this we know that it’s a creative story, that we are about to read, with a young girl as a central character.
After reading the book I felt, on the cover having a darker shade of grey with a cat, a house in shambles or forest in the background would have given a vivid idea to the reader about the plot.
Romilly lives in a ramshackle house with her eccentric artist father and her cat, Monty.
When her father finds fame with a series of children’s books starring her as the main character, everything changes: exotic foods appear on the table, her father appears on TV, and strangers appear at their door, convinced the books contain a treasure hunt leading to a glittering prize.
Her father gets absorbed in his own creation and then she is left alone. Alone not really, she has a mysterious friend and her cat too.
What happens to the child in the end is curious.
The narration is through the eyes of Romilly, its first person reporting. Its amazing how the writer has understood and portrayed the changes in emotion and well as behaviour of a young girl. Who knows just a few things about her life, its like ‘need to know basis’.
The journey of Romilly starts with the readers when she is around 8 and goes on till, she is free at 16.
The author has done complete justice, in showing the turmoil a child goes through in a broken family. The need to find someone who wants to talk to her, know her and take away the loneliness is felt strongly.
The character of Stacy is one such in this book.
The story isn’t for people who get sad or depressed quickly, because the story gets really painful in some parts.
Although, Romilly gets free from the house and contacts a child service, but to reach here she suffers a lot.
While reading this book, I strongly felt again and again that God should not bless such undeserving people with kids. They ruin their own life as well as leave the kids to suffer and face bitter experiences all alone.
Amazon link to buy The illustrated chile is HERE!!
Thanks to #bookchatter bookreview program by The blogchatter, for bringing this book my way.
If you like reading fiction, you can try reading When strangers meet, here is the review.