Review - Monster Love, Carol Topolski

I had been interested in reading this since I first came across the snippet of blurb on it. It was an easy read. Which makes it a sure mass market type that would sit easily on the Richard and Judy book club list. Brendan and Linda have both endured childhoods that were incredibly lonely and which turned them into dangerously cut off outsiders. When they come together each feels complete and they are certain they do not want a child to threaten it. But she gets pregnant and end up keeping their daughter locked up in a cage until she eventually dies. It is gruesome. However. Whilst it was an easy read it lacked credibility. Many of the characters and their reactions also lacked credibility. It just didn't sit right on many levels - it lacked a gritty voice. I also felt that Topolski - a UEA graduate - tried to tick too many sociological boxes such as social class and mobility. Then there was sexual abuse. Domestic abuse. Recession and a superficial soupcon of Thatcherism. And we are also led to believe that these two soul mates were also telepathic. The whole thing felt like it had been written as a child would do a dot to dot somehow. Topolski is also a practising psychotherapist yet she did not go deep enough by half. Despite that it is a quick easy interesting enough read even if it is also very flabby in parts.

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