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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Little Toy Car is a powerful drama based on the life experiences of author Gabe Oliver. If truth is stranger than fiction, then this autobiographical tale will certainly make you think about the dark side of humanity and the spark of hope on the horizon. The author’s formative years were heartbreaking, starting from when his family had given up on him and his siblings and he spent his days chasing wild chickens for food. He eventually ended up in a Catholic orphanage being run by tyrannical nuns. Religion played a significant role in his life, but he was trying to find a way out. One of the most compelling parts of this work is when his mother finally tells him the truth about his father.
Little Toy Car has praiseworthy elements in chronicling how family, abuse, faith, and evil often intertwine in the lives of those who are not fortunate enough to have an idyllic childhood. Gabe Oliver’s narrative has strong sensory power and you can almost touch the characters involved. It’s dark but thought-provoking stuff - the story of a man impacted by different forms of abuse. Oliver manages to keep his eye on the ball and the pacing is taut. Every scene has something to add, weighted with thematic relevance. It is a stark illustration of one man’s existence as he journeys through life. It can be vicious and cruel, but then reality is not always pleasant. I found Oliver’s skill in digging inside his experiences intensely rewarding and you will too. It’s a must-read.