Whistle in the Dark (Hardcover) by Emma Healey

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List Price: £12.99

Hardcover: 336 Pages.

Published: 03 May 2018 by Viking

ISBN: 0241327628

EAN: 9780241327623

Review by Debra Found

4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars (4 from a possible 5)

A Teenage Girl's Depression

On the surface this book is about the agonising aftermath of 15 year old Lana's four day disappearance. Her mother Jen has all those concerns you'd expect - will she be found alive or dead & later concerns about what did happen. However the book is primarily  about much more than that. It is about Lana's crippling depression & how that effects her family around her, in particular her Mother, Jen.

This isn't actually a very jolly book though there are moments of lightness. Lana is a young girl who is seriously hurting, lacking in self-confidence and very unhappy. She lashes out at those around here, primarily her mother. This means that Jen spends a lot of time walking on eggshells and not wanting to upset her. She fears to ask the questions she so desperately wants the answers to, as she seems always  to send Lana into a spiral of despair. Consequently Jen allows Lana to walk all over her.

There are a lot of questions raised in this book about teenage depression & how it affects the family around them. Lana was fortunate to have a therapist but the support for the family as a whole seems to be weak. Jen naturally is out of her depth - how would any of us deal with such a fragile daughter? There are questions raised about the support available to young people and their families. There are also the very current questions about social media and the pressures on young people today.

I was pleased that we found the answer to what happened to Lana during her missing four days. As the end approached I was getting more doubtful that we'd never find out, which I would not have appreciated. However, that was really a side issue. The missing four days are really just a plot device on which to hang the observations and concerns about a young girl's depression. I am glad that I read the book as the questions raised are important. However this is not a book to read for the sheer enjoyment of a good story.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.

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