Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato
PUBLISHED BY HEAD OF ZEUS
REVIEW BY PENNY NOM
Edgar is eight and is an unusual boy. He’s albino, thoughtful and forgiving, and has experienced more than his fair share of death.
Lucy is his mother – at least in name. Since Edgar’s father died she has been using men and booze to mask the pain and grief of losing the love of her life, leaving the parenting to Florence, her mother-in-law.
Edgar and Florence have a lovely relationship. They are very close, and everything Edgar knows about life he’s learned from Florence.
Fate conspires to bring Edgar and a mysterious stranger together at a time when Edgar is particularly vulnerable – bullied, friendless and unable to properly understand or deal with certain things that are happening at home.
Edgar becomes a missing person, and his mother discovers what he really means to her, skating on the edges of madness as she desperately searches for him.
This is not the run-of-the-mill, ‘boy taken by paedophile, held against his will and made to do unspeakable things’ scenario; in fact there is no sexual aspect to this ‘friendship’. The tragic reason for the stranger’s attachment to Edgar is eventually revealed, and the relationship is actually a positive one for Edgar in some ways – although he does know on some level that it’s not normal or ‘right’.
This story is about mental illness, the damage that grief can do, learning to love, and the lies that families tell.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The writing is faultless, the story gripping, and the characters are very well drawn. This book has everything a reader could wish for: characters that are not clichés; pathos; suspense; humour; family drama – the list goes on. If I didn’t have to eat, sleep and go to work I could have read all 530 pages in one sitting! Do yourself a favour and let Edgar and his dysfunctional family into your life.
Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.