‘We went to school that Tuesday like normal. Not all of us came home…’
This is such an emotional page-turner that takes you on a journey of a family dealing with tragedy. It shows you how people deal with grief differently, and in this day and age the monstrosity that took place could happen to any of us which is the scariest thing.
The story begins with a little boy called Zach huddled together with his classmates and teacher, trying to stay hidden from a madman with a gun. That gunman within minutes takes the lives of innocent children; how utterly horrific.
‘Only Child’ is skillfully written. It is told from the point of view of Zach who is a young boy, and as a result there is a very clever childish hint to the writing. The detail is perfect and you can hear Zach’s mind ticking over from all his thoughts. The second that gunman enters the school *pop pop pop*, Rhiannon Navin maintains your attention to a tee as she takes us through the tale of a family dealing with the aftermath. A tale that could be oh so real.
The writing itself is hauntingly atmospheric and Rhiannon Navin has captured the workings of a child’s curious mind perfectly. Zach is full of questions and trying to get his little head round such a big ordeal. She shows us how parents could deal with the grief of losing a child, as well as have to give their existing child the nurturing and love he still needs. Will they slowly neglect without realising it… and what will Zach do to escape and deal with his own grief?!
Everyone in the community are left bewildered and devastated. How could such a thing happen?! People deal with tragedy in different ways and what we have here is a father who distances himself, a mother desperate for justice and a little boy who retreats to a hideout and loses himself in a world of art, books and talking to a memory of his brother.
‘Ultimately though, it is Zach who will show the adults in his life the way forward — as, sometimes, only a child can.’
The ending left me content and full of hope to savour every moment I have with my family and my kids because you never know where life will lead.
Thank you to Jessica Duffy at Pan Macmillan for a copy of this truly astounding book. It really is a must read for everyone this year!
‘Only Child’ is already available to buy on e-reader but if you long for a copy to hold in your hands then it will be hitting bookshops to buy on 8th March.