'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 27 August 2018

Review: At The End of Holyrood Lane

Dimity Powell’s powerful new book addresses the current and important issue of domestic violence. 

Attention is drawn to this severe social problem with messages crucial to the well-being of children suffering from violence in the home, with a superb approach that immediately gains the reader’s full attention. 

The duality of carefully chosen language brings into use Nature’s elements as metaphors for the fear and anxiety that Flick, the main character, endures.   

This is a soulful yet uplifting story about the detrimental effect domestic violence has on children and finding a way when help is needed.

Flick is a resilient young child that lives beneath the beech woods, who loves to play and dance outside, and who knows how to run and hide. It’s what she’s running and hiding from that is disturbing. When storms and clouds appear causing shadows and fear, that’s the time Flick flees. She can never tell when they will come, determined to diminish the joy in her life.

All the emotions and feelings are impressively portrayed by the gifted Nicky Johnston, whose illustrations transform the text into beautiful visuals that enhance the author’s words and create a harmonious fusion of words and images. She concentrates on expressive images to accent the measure of Flick’s anxiety, and the forces of Nature to present the activity of the child’s imagination. Flick is the leaf being tossed by the wind as the trees bend and shadows with fierce faces threaten to engulf her.

It’s when Flick ultimately finds the ability to reach out for help that her anxiety and emotional suffering come to an end. Her courage is like the sun that comes out to melt like butter on her cheek.

Flick’s actions and reactions are reflections of what many children experience but are unable understand, therefore cannot find a way to escape. This valuable book will awaken awareness in young children who may recognize similarities in Flick’s life and theirs.

At the End of Holyrood Lane is recommended by Act for Kids – Preventing and treating child abuse and neglect, and supported by RizeUp Australia, a community- driven organization dedicated to supporting families affected by domestic and family violence. 

This is a book not to be missed with a confronting theme magnificently executed, that will surely get the attention it deserves. It’s a must for every school library and home bookshelf.

Title: At the End of Holyrood Lane
Author: Dimity Powell
Illustrator: Nicky Johnston
Publisher: EK Books, $24.99
Publication Date: September 2018
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781925335767
For ages: 4 – 8 years
Type: Picture Book

For your chance to win a copy of this special picture book along with Dimity and Nicky's previous title together, The Fix-It Man, be sure to enter our exciting new Giveaway this Friday!