Review Blog

Nov 11 2015

The Mirror World of Melody Black by Gavin Extence

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Hodder & Stoughton, 2015. ISBN 9781444764628
(Age: Adult) Highly recommended. 'You have a choice about what you put into the public domain.'
This book is really difficult to put down. It tells Abby's story from her perspective as Abby spirals into a manic episode following finding her neighbour dead in the flat next door.
Abby is inspired in her mania - brilliant ideas and fashion choices emanate from the page as she describes her adventures. Is it possible for the reader to identify the point where Abby tips into madness? The writing is compelling and there is a very real sense that the writer has first-hand experience with this mental illness. The author's note at the end of the book put this in perspective and adds an authenticity to the writing.
Abby's very supportive psychiatrist plays a key role in rescuing Abby as she plummets into depression. It is while undergoing treatment in hospital that Abby meets Melody Black and the significance of the title of the book becomes clear.
Another key aspect of the book is the development of the relationships in Abby's life. The incredible resilience and caring of the family and loved ones standing by Abby throughout her episode and the mysteriously satisfying remote relationship with poet Miranda Frost are detailed with humour.
Linda Guthrie

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