#ReadingChallenge, Book Review, Reading Challenge

The Illustrated Child

by Polly Crosby

I didn’t enjoy this book. It took me all my time to read it. I know that this book has received a lot of praise about it being wonderful, magical and compelling. But I can’t relate at all to these views. To be honest some parts of this book are very dark and disturbing.

Romilly and her father Tobias have moved to a small village in Suffolk. Where they reside in a very run down cottage that is surrounded on three sides by a slim clogged moat.

They have moved there as her father has lost his job working at the university, where he taught art. When they moved to the cottage her father gave her a Siamese cat. She thought that the cat looked very smart so he had to have a smart name. So she called him Captain Montgomery 2nd Regiment. Which she shortened to Monty.

Romilly spent most of her time on her own as her father spent most of his time locked up in his office for hours if not days at a time. It turns out that he has been spending his time painting Romilly and Monty and has produced a story book.

The book becomes so popular that Romilly and her father travel all over for book signings. Her father also goes on TV making them even more famous that Romilly is no longer able to go to school. During the summer holidays fans on the book start turning up at their cottage. Which isolates Romilly from the real world even more.

When her father releases his 2nd book things become even worse, with people constantly turning up. For some reason the public have come to the conclusion that the books are clues to a treasure hunt.

While all of this is going on her father starts to act more and more strangely, but Romilly is too young to understand what is happening to him. Romilly’s estranged mother turns up in their life for a little while, but ends up disappearing on them again. As she can’t cope with what happened in the past. It turns out that Romilly had a twin sister that died, but Romilly can’t really remember anything about her.

Not long after her mother leaves her father also leaves Romilly to fend for herself as he checks in to a care home. It turns out that he has dementia. For months Romilly try’s to do the best she can on her own until the money runs out and she can’t afford to feed herself or Monty. Eventually she does ask for help.

This story really is quite distressing and harrowing, so if you expect a nice pleasant read this isn’t it.

Pages: 400, Publication Date: 20 October 2020, My Rating:

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