THE DARING NEW NOVEL FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE EMERGENCE OF JUDY TAYLOR
When Mark Darling is fifteen years old, he is the golden boy, captain of the school football team, admired by all who know him. Until he kills his best friend in a freak accident.
He spends the next decade drifting between the therapy couch and dead-end pursuits. Then along comes Sadie. A mender by nature, she tries her best to fix him, and has enough energy to carry them both through the next few years.
One evening, Mark bumps into an old schoolfriend, Ruby. She saw the accident first hand. He is pulled towards her by a force stronger than logic: the universal need to reconcile one’s childhood wounds. This is his chance to, once again, feel the enveloping warmth of unconditional love. But can he leave behind the woman who rescued him from the pit of despair, the wife he loves? His unborn child?
This is a story about how childhood experience can profoundly impact how we behave as adults. It’s a story about betrayal, infidelity and how we often blinker ourselves to see a version of the truth that is more palatable to us.
About The Author
Angela Jackson is a former psychology lecturer and teacher trainer. Her debut novel The Emergence of Judy Taylor won the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s First Book Award and was Waterstones’ Scottish Book of the Year.
The Darlings is her second novel.
Originally from the north of England, she now lives with her family in Edinburgh.
Thank you so much to Emma at damppebbles and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I love books which examine how we are the people we are because of our experiences. Angela Jackson’s experience as a psychology lecturer really came into play here. Mark accidentally kills his best friend when he swings a cricket bat and he accidentally lets go, hitting his friend and killing him. The grief and guilt that follows this incident permeates every aspect of his life. Mark was a really well developed character and his actions were completely believable. I sympathised and despised him all at the same time, which just goes to show how complicated a character he really was.
The plot serves to explore Mark’s character. Although it wasn’t action packed, I was absolutely gripped as I wanted to get more and more inside his head. Other chapters were told from other characters’ POV which helped provide an insight into the impact Mark’s actions were having on those around him.
The writing style was really easy to read and very engaging. The short chapters provided lots of vignettes into the lives of the characters. Given the potentially heavy topic, it was really well handled.
I would recommend The Darlings to anyone who enjoys literary fiction and well developed characters!
Tour Stops and Links
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3cpZ7gk
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3v3OgiD
Published in paperback and digital formats by Eye Books on 21st June 2021