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Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Well Written Insight Into Human Suffering

Title: Sleep Before Evening
Author: Magdalena Ball
ISBN: 978-1-904492-96-2
Page count: 296
Format: paperback
Release Date: 24th July 2007
Available: http://www.amazon.com/Sleep-Before-Evening-Magdalena-Ball/dp/1904492967/


Review by Warren Thurston,
owner of Pentales


Sleep Before Evening is Magdalena Ball’s debut novel. It is a beautifully crafted piece dealing with rejection and betrayal. Those of us who have felt that someone we loved deeply betrayed us, will form an immediate bond with the main character.

Marianne is a vivacious nineteen year old, full of life and a brilliant scholar. She is at the peak of her powers when life decides it will test her character. Eric, her much loved grandfather and mentor, is suddenly struck down by a stroke. His death begins a series of events that takes Marianne into a world of darkness, filled with drugs and depression.

Hurting to the core about the loss of Eric, and the fact that she was denied the chance to say goodbye, Marianne hates the world. She also starts to hate herself and seeks solace in the arms of Miles. He is a struggling musician who for a time is the maestro who conducts her life.

Lily, Marianne’s mother, also has her own demons eating at her. She is so wrapped up in her struggle to find happiness and fulfillment, that she cannot see what is happening to her daughter. It is a flaw that many parents are guilty of, not through an act of selfishness, but one brought on by their own struggle to survive.

Confused and angry Marianne deteriorates to the stage where fantasy, reality and pain are so intermingled within her, that she loses contact with her real self. She was entering the stage of what the noted British psychiatrist Hall called, drifting back to the time before you are born. It is a stage along the path of mental recovery, where one’s mind is in an infantile state, as it retreats from the hurt it finds itself in. Then when it feels strong enough it comes forward again, out of the darkness and into the light. This usually brings with it a positive change in an individual, making them mentally stronger and enhancing their creativity.

This is a good story that makes the reader feel the highs and lows of Marianne as if they are their own. It reminds me of the style adopted by the Russian writer Dostoyevsky. He had the ability to get the reader to feel exactly what his characters felt; a gift Magdalena ball has too.

Sleep Before Evening is a well written insight into human suffering. The author shows an in-depth knowledge of how to hold readers attention, and make them eager to know more. This is a debut novel that shows the author has many more novels inside her, which will provoke strong emotions in readers of her work.

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