“Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out,and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage — an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It’s up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn’t mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.
Will Lacy’s predisposition, education, and magic be enough for her to save the Universe, Earth, and, most importantly, protect her own family?
Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy,comedy and satire. It is a children’s story for adults, not for the prudish, faint of heart, or easily offended.”
First off, I’d like to state that this book review was an author request from Robert Eggleton himself. Everything else I’ve read and reviewed so far this year, I either bought the book or solicited from the author or publisher myself, knowing full-well I was probably going to love everything they threw at me. When I don’t know whether I’ll love the book from the outset it feels like everything becomes more of a challenge. I’m not just reading it for myself. I’m reading it primarily for someone else. If this book didn’t land in my inbox, I doubt I would have gone out and read it. That’s not to be cold or cruel about it, I’m just selective with what I read. There are a lot of books out there and a lot less time for reading.
So, I read the book. It was longer than the books I usually read, and it’s not the type of book I usually read, either. But the writing was solid, easy to read, the narrative flowed well, and I enjoyed it. The story follows a young girl, Lacy Dawn, who is the only child in a broken family. Her father is an abusive veteran with PTSD, her mother often cops the brunt of the abuse, and she communicates with the ghost of her dead friend who suffered at the hands of a similarly broken family. The story starts with this broken mess and gradually transforms into a space epic where Lacy Dawn is the chosen one to save her family and save the world. Through her robot boyfriend she becomes empowered to attempt to glue her family together and put their dark past behind them.
There’s a lot to like about this book, from the heartbreak of everything the family has suffered, to the voices of the main characters, to the imagined hyper-capitalist shopping planet on which the universe hinges upon, the vibrant details which bring the fantasy of space into the lived reality of Lacy Dawn and her family in their small segment of Earth. The story is well fleshed out and the science fiction plot is eased into well, despite being at complete odds with the domestic abuse narrative.
Ultimately, however unbelievable the space travel and shopping planets are, I felt like the most unbelievable part of the story was the transformation of the family from broken to whole. Finding redemption at the end of a long history of abuse. That was the one aspect of the story which didn’t really click into place with me. The author explained it very well, and immersed in the narrative I bought the concept easily enough. But deep down I didn’t buy into it. I didn’t believe the father could redeem himself. I didn’t believe Lacy Dawn could be the catalyst for mending their broken lives. I didn’t believe that wealth and success could change the family so completely that they would never be broken again. I wanted to grab Lacy Dawn and her mother and shake them and tell them to leave the father. And I know those situations carry certain restraints which keep them from breaking free, but it’s a hard pill to swallow when they go from that situation where they seem to only be sticking together for their child to sticking together because their child saved their family and love and trust has been restored and all is once again good in the world.
The author did a fantastic job of explaining how all of that happened in this particular instance, and this book is well worth the read. I just wish that this family dynamic was less of a myth and more of a reality. That abusers could transform themselves so completely like this. I guess that’s part of the story’s charm, though. That children wander off and communicate with ghosts and imaginary friends about how they’re going to fix things, and Lacy Dawn actually went ahead and did it. She was a dreamer who put her dreams into action.
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