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It's not a book for the weak hearted.
Actually, it'd be better to say it's not a book for someone who is strong, mentally and emotionally.
Sophie started life as Joan Adeney Easdale, a teenage poet whose work was published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf. Joan wrote plays for the BBC, married a scientist and had three children. She had a rich creative life and close friendships, including the writer Naomi Mitchison.
"They've turned me into the psycho I've become," complains the unsteady voice in a taped phone conversation. "They" are the entertainment industry. The "psycho" is Larry "Wild Man" Fischer, a manic-depressive paranoid schizophrenic with a peculiarly haunting musical talent.
Philip Larkin once wrote, ‘Lonely in Ireland, since it was not home, strangeness made sense.’ When I read this book, I was travelling on business, something I was used to doing. I was also dealing with grief.
"The son of a trapeze artist and an itinerant carpet merchant, a circus orphan raised by a Bearded Lady, Fly, as the protagonist of Carnival is known, is the ultimate outsider, even before the demise of the circus precipitates emigration."
The Lost Child looks at the life of a child growing up in a family where there is parental mental illness.