Author: Jessica Palmer

Publisher: Jaded Books Publishing

  

What kept ringing in my mind as I was reviewing the Dark Lullaby was Stephen king’s words, “we make up horror to help us cope with the real ones.” This was because the world inhabited by the characters in the novel was scary but so was our world especially now more often we hear in the press that most of the issues raised in the book met a sort of some social condoling if the powerful perpetuated it.

        The novel opened with Sara, a girl of nine fleeing home, away from the fight of her parents.

         Assuming she had somewhere else to go.

        She was entrapped. Not only her, her parents were too and her granny and the dog. What ensnared them wasn’t just an ugly past of abuse and molestation but of a house with its own secrets.

       And as the story builds up, there was a hope that Sara parents would pause from their bickering even for a moment to read the clear sign of an impending doom.

       But the salvation came in an unpredictable gory form.

        And this horror became a preparation of a coping in our world with the culture of where women were subjected to a male gaze, and the abuses flowing from it.

        But the most interesting aspect of the novel for me was how the author handled the writing of Nana, a character that lost her power of speech due to a stroke. It enunciated in me with the dreadful question of how one could live with the horrifying knowledge of doom but with tongue tied from speaking out.

       It was in her that Palmer showcased her mastery in the craft of writing. And her character was a metaphor to the question the novel did raise of how could the less powerful with minority voice, women and children alike, in this patriarchal society live beyond being a mere token to the ambivalent of the men.

       The author didn’t set out to answer this question, it rather aroused a feeling of more dreadful apocalypse the society pushed herself into, with violence begetting violence.

       There were a bit of minor formatting errors in the book but this wouldn’t distract one from enjoying the story.