Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
What was it like to live with a mental condition in the early years of the 1900s? The Fading of Lloyd by Kit Crumpton captures a family’s story as they struggle to cope with the mental retardation of one of theirs amidst social changes affecting everyone. In a story with a wonderful historical and social setting, readers meet Lloyd, an “imbecile” who is diagnosed with schizophrenia, institutionalized, and later dies in very tragic circumstances. In this book, the author explores the perils of life in an asylum and makes a powerful indictment of the way psychiatrists and professionals working in mental institutions treated their patients. Follow the family’s shock as they live through the tragedy.
The reader immediately experiences a deep sense of sympathy for the Huttleston family as they get to know the challenges they face. The story revolves around this family, but it makes relevant references to the social and cultural revolutions taking place just after the First World War. The story is filled with many surprises, family drama and secrets, and the reader is interested to understand why Lloyd is the way he is. Readers are introduced to great characters, including Kimberly Weatherspoon, the killer with a rare pathological condition, Private Huttleston, and a host of others. Kit Crumpton explores her characters in unusual and skillful ways, allowing readers to connect with them because they are real and memorable. The Fading of Lloyd is crafted in excellent prose, with great dialogues sprinkled throughout the story. It’s a story that is emotionally driven, skillfully plotted, and accomplished with a master’s touch.