This is a science fiction and fantasy tale of a family facing the effects of a father torn by Combat Related PTSD. Rarity from the Hollow tackles many issues, which such sufferers and their families will quickly recognise. These include a father ripped apart by the horrors of war, the resulting domestic violence, poverty, and a young girl who has to witness and deal with all of this while going through her early years at school.
Lucy Dawn, her mother Jenny, and even their dog, all try desperately to appease or avoid the wrath of a much-loved father and husband whose violent episodes cause him to lash out at those he cares for. Given such difficult subjects, Eggleton’s gentle words tackle them with an admirable flair for writing from a young, understanding and caring perspective. With wise asides, such as how some people made money off war and others paid, his tongue-in-cheek humour may cause lips to twitch, one such memorable part being:
“He’s breathing,” Jenny yelled from the bedroom.
“That’s a good sign,” Lacy Dawn said.
Above this domestic background, Lucy Dawn is special – and I mean special. Her magical powers, which have been gifted through her bloodline, enable her to talk to the trees amongst other things. She also has advanced knowledge of mathematics, the sciences, and many other subjects, courtesy of her otherworldly friend DotCom, whose spaceship is located close to their home. To avoid her home life, Lucy Dawn spends much of her free time conversing and visiting these unusual friends.
With echoes of John Wynham’s Chocky Robert Eggleton has written a memorable book and his words flow like water through a believable world.
Amusing at times, shocking at others, a touching and somehow wonderful SFF read.