This is an interesting read. You are drawn into a dysfunctional world, character by character, knowing that there will be trouble, but not knowing where it will come from. There is a sense of unease as you read - but never is it overt or overpowering. There are points when you feel like shouting at the characters and other times like crying. The strength of the book, in my mind, lies in when you worry about the characters after you finish reading. My sense of life says you should have some good in it, and it makes me want to intervene - maybe more education, better paid jobs, perhaps a social worker - well anything to save this poor family from the situation they are in. It is grim reality - I would like to say of a time gone by - but reluctantly we can pick up any international newspaper to find this is reality in many parts of the world - and that includes the developed world.
Abbott has written an intense debut novel, and it is a brave decision to introduce us to this world through the mute character of Onie. This is a great and original work, so you need to allow yourself to be drawn into this world - you won't be disappointed.
Why four stars not five - well I suppose it's four and a half really. There were times when I missed some of the traditional punctuation. In days gone by I would probably have moaned about the lack of apostrophe that showed the plural. Life does move on - I'm just not there yet!