Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Brick Mother by SJ Bradley

Review by The Mole

The story is set in a secure psychiatric hospital where patients with very varying illnesses are kept. The staff are constantly short handed and competence levels seem to vary immensely. The reader knows from page one that this is a powder keg ready to blow and awaits each new page for it to happen. There isn't one hero and one villain, in fact I'm not sure there's a hero at all, but we experience a little of what life is like for the staff with their power struggles and capabilities.

I was amazed by this book because I was over half way through before I realised that nothing had actually 'happened' but I was still reading. Despite the setting for this book the reader will see parallels in almost every employment sector they have been in - people held back by being too much of a threat; people promoted beyond their competence; people without the authority to stop what they see shouldn't happen; people recruited to fill seats without adequate training and understanding and much more.

I did find it compelling and slightly worrying, and the ending is not what I would have voted for.

My version was a review copy as it was nominated for the long list of The Guardian's "Not The Booker prize 2014" and I have to admit to being disappointed by the quality of the editing in MY COPY and also the fact that it hasn't made the short list.

A disturbing read but one that will keep you reading and make you wonder about mental heath care.

Publisher - Dead Ink Books
Genre - Adult contemporary fiction

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