Darcy Lane

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A beautifully written novella by James T. Graham, Darcy Lane tells the story of a girl who experiences a great deal of trauma and is trying to work her way through bad experiences and situations as they come knocking at her door. As a seven-year-old, Elise Rose sees her mother brutally attacked by a man in their flat. Elise goes to stay with her grandfather Emmett until she starts hallucinating and seeing her dead mother in the streets. At seventeen, Elise is committed into a mental hospital.

Most of the story occurs after Elise is released two years later, when she is twentya years old. She has gone through therapy and must take medication to stave off the hallucinations. She goes back to stay with Emmett and meets her old friend Tom, a neighborhood boy she had gotten along with before she was sent away. Elise tries to figure out how to put her life back together but finds herself associating with the wrong crowd despite the warnings of Tom and another family friend. I found Elise to be very naive and stubborn, making unsmart decisions.

Darcy Lane is a wonderfully written story with very interesting characters. Elise tends to self-medicate herself with gin and the reader can feel her slowly slipping into the shoes of her troubled mother. It is, in fact, while Elise is a bit drunk that she stays on the bus to the end of the road and ends up at Darcy Lane where there is a little house that Elise imagines living in. This little house becomes her solace, her peaceful place she goes to when she wants time alone to think.

Elise finds herself being easily persuaded by those around her, and it seems that there is danger lurking around every corner. The novella progresses very quickly and I rather enjoyed the scenery, the characters, and how the story takes shape overall. I do feel that the ending is a bit abrupt and could have been written a bit differently. I found myself wanting to learn more about Elise’s fate as well as the fate of the other characters and so I am hoping for a Darcy Lane Part Two. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a long short story that will keep you engaged from cover to cover. An adventure that readers will want more of after finishing it.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 128 pages
Publisher Austin Macauley Publishers
Publish Date 30-Oct-2020
ISBN 9781398400177
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue November 2021
Category Young Adult