Hardback Published: 6 September 2018
Paperback Published: 4 February 2020
Flick is just like any other youngster. She loves to chase butterflies and jump in autumn leaves. But life at the end of Holyrood Lane is often violent and unpredictable due to the constant storms that plague her home, causing her to cringe with dread and flee whenever they strike. Flick tries her best to quell her fears and endure the storms’ persistent wrath until, one day, with nowhere left to hide Flick summons the courage to face her fears by asking for help to overcome them.
Sometimes a book arrives & it takes my breath away…
The simplicity of the words & pictures against the complexity & heartbreak of the message beneath At The End Of Holyrood have done just that.
On the surface, this is a story of a child who is frightened of thunderstorms – the noise, the unpredictability.
On closer inspection, the illustrations reveal the source of the thunder. An unpredictable home, full of aggression and violence. The thunder is the loud, aggressive arguments, the lightning, the strikes that shouldn’t ever hit once.
When there is no longer a safe place to hide, Flick finally asks for help, and the storms receed.
A very gentle exploration of an extremely painful life. Domestic violence and abuse are still taboo subjects with victim shaming still very prevalent. A recent TV series (Deadwater Fell) had a character say of a victim, “If it was that bad, why didn’t she leave?” Because as an adult, unless you have lived it, it is exceptionally difficult to rationalise the hope that remains, that it’s better to stay together for the children, until it isn’t. No matter how much you think it is hidden from the child, they will live through every storm and aftermath.
Thank you Exisle Books for sending me a copy.
Living in a house where domestic abuse is taking place is soul destroying, and as a child, you may feel utterly powerless to stop it. If you’ve been affected by the issues in this story, and need help or someone to talk to, it’s always available from: