Thank you to Emma at Damppebbles for giving me the chance to review The Darlings by Angela Jackson
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.
This was such a wonderful read, a little unusual in how it was written from the adulterers side but I think that made it all the more intriguing.
The characters are fantastic, I didn’t even dislike Mark, the adulterer. I did adore Sadie and how strong she was in having to be the “grown up” all the time.
I thought how the author portrayed childhood trauma and how it can have an impact on someone’s life many, many years after the incident. I found The Darlings to be a wonderfully written novel that I would highly recommend.
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.