Tuesday 31 December 2013

You Don’t Even Know

You Don’t Even Know by Sue Lawson (black dog books)
PB RRP $ 18.95
ISBN 9781922179715
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

This intensely moving novel reflects the sadness ad overwhelming emotions that conglomerate into pain during the grieving process.  Its themes cover loss, coping with death and dying, bullying, and the destructive results of parents’ expectations on their children.

An incredible journey of the Self is told through the character Alex from the Neurological Unit of a hospital in a before and after the accident sequence. He reflects on the way things are in his life and the way they are perceived to be.

Struggling to overcome his injuries, Alex also battles with guilt over his little sister’s death and the imminent passing from cancer of his room mate, Mackie, whose life and dreams are revealed through her journals. Alex also lives with his father’s blame for his sister’s death, and for not conforming to parental expectations as his brothers have. His mother escapes the grief of a dysfunctional family behind the pretentious façade of her wealthy lifestyle, rigidly determined to keep up appearances.

Additional themes of identity and sibling rivalry flow throughout the story. The extremely gifted Sue Lawson has again captured the voice and thoughts of youth with great insight.

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