REVIEW|| Guilt by Joan Ellis


You died in April 1965, a month before your fifth birthday. You were probably dead long before Mum downed her third gin with Porky Rawlings.
Seven year old Susan is alone with her younger brother when he dies of an overdose.
The Guilt informs the rest of her life.
When it threatens to destroy not only her but her relationship with her new baby,she must revisit the past to find the truth.
What she discovers is as horrifying as it is magical.

Lately, my go-to reads have been thrillers and tragic contemporaries. This book fell into the latter. My very kind friend sent me this after she read it because she knew I saw it reccomended to me on Amazon and I had an interest in reading it. I enjoy books that are an emotional challenge to get through.

This follows the story of Susie, a girl who was horribly neglected and mistreated by her parents and who feels responsible for the death of her brother when they were children after he got into a cabinet and overdosed on tablets he thought were pills. Susie was just seven years old, and her parents put her in charge of looking after Mark, a five year old boy. This whole book is addressed to Mark, informing him of the real details about what happened that night and what he should know.


Pretty much everyone in this book was flawed, including Susie herself. The most flawed were her parents. I liked how, despite their pure evilness, they still felt pretty real. It was clear throughout the whole book consistantly that they didn’t want Susie, but they wanted Mark. I liked this, because a lot of the time this can result in the author forcing a happy ending on us like the parents suddenly announcing they loved their child after all. This I find to be a betrayal of what their charecter is actually like, and it feels forced on us so we can leave the novel feeling satisfied and good even if it didn’t really make sense.


This wasn’t the kind of plot where it was an endless stream of interesting events happening and things that kept me hooked. It was just Susie telling her story of what happened to Mark, and the events that happened to lead her to the truth. Although it was odd how Susie and Liam clearly had a strained relationship but, by the end of the book, it was like nothing had happened. There was a lot that was an odd coincidence throughout the book. Other than that, it was enjoyable.


It had a lot of “trauma porn” that I wasn’t a fan of, where it just pulled bad incident on us after bad incident for the pure reasoning of getting an emotional response from the reader. It had a lot of coincidences and some areas that didn’t make sense and just dragged, odd for a short book. Otherwise, it was an enjoyable read, if a little depressing.


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