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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Darcy Lane by James T. Graham shows how life can sometimes be cruel. That’s what seven-year-old Elise Rose learns. One day she’s a child enjoying her books and toys and then in a flash, her childhood’s over. She’s lived in a tenement flat with her mother for four years and the visitors to the flat have become more mysterious and more violent. Then, a drunk visiting her mother takes an interest in the seven-year-old and, trying to protect her daughter, Elise Rose watches in horror as her mother’s life is viciously taken. Struggling with mental trauma, Elise Rose eventually ends up in the psychiatric ward. Upon release at the age of twenty, she is given her mother’s journal and, upon reading it, follows her mother’s journey to discover her purpose in life; that’s when she stumbles upon the abandoned house on Darcy Lane. Could this be the place her heart seeks? A place where she can finally find some peace from her haunted past?
James T. Graham’s novella, Darcy Lane, is a raw story of a young girl thrust into an uncaring, vicious world. Told in the third person, the plot begins with the confrontation in Elise Rose’s childhood home that scars the girl for life. Then the story jumps ahead thirteen years and she is still plagued by strife and violence seems to follow her, now a woman, wherever she goes. The discovery of the abandoned house provides Elise Rose with some sense of hope and peace. The descriptive narrative is thorough and sets the scene for readers to follow. Dialogue is well used to develop characters and move the story along. Overall, the story is an engaging, thought-provoking read.