A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell

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I was offered the chance to read this book and was warned it might not be my type of book as it was about a teenage pregnancy. I was about to agree with them, until I remembered how much I loved Non Pratt’s Trouble. When I remembered how much I loved that, I instantly said yes and one Friday morning, I was left with an hour to read a book, so I chose to read this. I finished it within the hour and in one sitting, and let that stand as testament to how much I loved it. 

Rose has Michael as a boyfriend, and they love each other, quite a lot, if you catch my drift. Neither of them really thought about the consequences of them doing such a thing, and then Rose gets the news that she dreaded: she’s pregnant. Faced with the prospect of a ruined future, she decides not to tell anyone. A Small Madness details the struggles of Rose and Michael as they learn what to do with a new child on the horizon, on the job.

When reading the press release for this book I received with it, it was described as ‘devastating.’ Without any spoilers, I can wholeheartedly confirm that this book was devastating and then some. 

The story is small but mighty, weighing in at just over 200 pages and yet comes in at 300kg+ in emotional weight. 

Firstly, the book shows so much emotion. The emotions I can pick up from this book are so strong, it’s like the scene from Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets where Harry has to stab the book and kill Tom Riddle, but in reverse. The pen with which Diane has written this book is indeed mightier than the sword.

Diane presents a plot which packs a punch but displays true scenes raw emotion and raw character feelings, where you can read it and visualize it all coming out the page like a futuristic hologram. Most books have this visualisation effect, but not all books have it to the extent where you feel a connection to the character.

Massive spoiler alert here, but one of the only negatives I picked up on with this book is this: would you really bury a baby after having a miscarriage? I won’t go into the details nor will I make comments on how Rose made herself have a miscarriage, but I’m not sure whether burying a baby in a local park for an elderly man and his dogs to find is particularly the right thing to do, but that aside it’s far from ethical, far from comfortable to read and quite chilling to think that such a thing would cross even a fictional character’s mind. 

With all that aside, this book was clearly written with a lot of emotion, a lot of passion and a raw interest in seeking to evoke emotion from the reader. And for me, that it did. 

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