Wednesday, 4 August 2010
A Blue So Dark By Holly Schindler
Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose is hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever sinve her dad left them. Convinced that "creative" equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent.
But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked - and together may offer an escape from her fears.
Schindler's writing is beautiful, haunting, and lyrical and sometimes even chaotic, which fits in perfectly with the subject matter. The tension and desperation emanating from Aura increases as you read the book, as if any minute the world is going to explode and drop out right from under her feet. Therefore this is definitely not a light read, however, it doesn't leave you feeling depressed but quite the opposite in fact.
I loved how the the romance between her and Jeremy was only a small sub plot that didn't overshadow the true story. I also loved how Schindler delves into the connection between how creativity, whether it be art, writing or music, can lead to a sort of mad genius persona.
A stunning, powerful and emotional first novel (inside and out), that will stay with you even after you have read the last word.
Random Passage: I'm terrified that the next time Mom needs me, I'm going to crack right in two. Because the longer this drama goes on, the more I feel like somebody that's going to get offed in Mom's journey. Maybe not literally dead, but a spiritual corpse, you know? I'll snap, and the me I've always known will be gone, never to emerge again.