Friday, 23 October 2015

Review: Lamb by Bonnie Nadzam

Title: Lamb
Author: Bonnie Nadzam
Publisher: Windmill Books
Pages: 288
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Dark


An unsettling exploration of manipulation and power between a middle-aged man and eleven year-old girl.

Tommie is eleven. David Lamb is fifty-four.

There’s nothing wrong with that, is there?

This is a story of 54 year old David Lamb and his decision to take a troubled 11 year old girl, Tommie to a cabin in the mountains to show her what he thinks is a better, simpler life.

Reading this book, the narrator brings the reader so close to David Lamb and Tommie that you feel intimately connected to these characters as the story goes on. Before I read the book, the basic summary sounded quite wrong and disturbing but as I read through the book, David’s motives seemed very sincere but ill-advised to me; he just wants to show a troubled Tommie a bit of happiness he feels she is missing out on at her city home. He is a very manipulative character, it feels like he also manipulates the reader as well as Tommie and everybody else in the book. I felt myself feeling as Tommie did, trusting this stranger one minute and then feeling not so sure the next.

I was left confused when I finished this book, there were so many unanswered questions for me. Was there a sexual motive in David taking Tommie? There was nothing implicitly implied from the story, maybe a few bits where it got a bit intimate but I felt it was always in a fatherly way. Of course the creepy thing about that is Tommie is not his daughter, and he took her without anybody knowing so it is inappropriate behaviour but it doesn't feel that way from the way the story is told. The whole book feels like it explores a very grey area and it really makes you think differently from the black and white mind set you come with as you start to read this book.

I really thought this was a great book, I like stories that challenge the thoughts and perceptions of the reader, a book that makes you question yourself when you have finished reading it. It wasn't too long either or bogged down with too much description, I finished it in a day.

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