Liza Perrat, author of The Bone Angel trilogy (Spirit of Lost Angels, Wolfsangel, Blood Rose Angel) and new release, The Silent Kookaburra.
What we thought: Jessica Bell’s unflinching and unbridled memoir is set in 1980s Melbourne, where she grew up with rocker parents who encouraged her to play her own guitar and write her own songs. This might sound exotic and exciting, but proved to be just the opposite. Her mother’s medical problems led her to abuse pills, alcohol and, during withdrawals, to suffer terrible anxiety and psychotic attacks. Fearful of these reactions, her step-father retreated into silence. Having no one to confide in, and to rely on, Jessica turned inwards, to her own reflection.
But her mirror proved not to be a friend, but her enemy, and she stumbled into alcoholism, depression and self-destruction. She became a rebel. Until, one day, the alcohol literally almost killed Jessica and she was forced to ask herself honestly, why she kept running from reality. And from herself.
This memoir is a raw and brutally honest account of Jessica’s damaged years, and the inspirational self-determination she was able to muster to break free from this destructive wave. It portrays how her highly creative powers, both in music and writing, helped her rebuild the love, shattered by illness and medication, between a daughter and her mother.
This is a moving, frightening, intense and beautifully-narrated page-turner, where the reader can’t help but sympathise with Jessica, and hope she finds her way out of the black hole. Highly recommended.
You’ll like this if you enjoy: honest childhood memoirs, or for anyone who’s dealt with disturbed adolescents.
Avoid if you don’t like: highly emotional stories about deeply troubled children and teenagers.
Ideal accompaniments: non-alcoholic beverage and a playlist of Jessica’s songs.
Available on Amazon