"Renata Barcelos is an amazingly talented writer. In her work like Mean and My Sore Hush-A-Bye, she peels the layers from topics that most writers are loathe to explore. She explores topics of dysfunctional families, abuse,and psychopathology relentlessly."Martha Bryce -Goodreads
"It was an excellent read, which did make me cry at the end, and it truly stays with you after reading it, and I think that's important in a book. You have to be able to almost live what the character goes through." Charlotte -Goodreads
From the Author
I write about dark and twisted themes, in the hope that one day they will only exist in fiction. Unfortunately, there are a lot of kids suffering ordeals like the one Camille faces in this book. Since most of them are never going to have the chance to tell their stories, I think it's important to read about it, even if it's fictional, so people will perhaps be more alert to recognize the signs. There may be a child right next to you in need of help, and you may not see it if you don't know what to look for. I hope that my fictional story might help give a voice to helpless children everywhere.
I won't lie. This was a tough one for me to read. Don't get me wrong; MY SORE HUSH-A-BYE is a brilliant novel that ranks as another powerful psychological masterpiece from author Renata F. Barcelos (author of MEAN). What made this book so difficult is how incredibly well-written it is. Barcelos constructs riveting first-person narratives that are impossible to put down no matter how uncomfortable the content becomes. I hate giving away plot points in a review, but readers should be warned; this novel concerns the 8-year captivity of a child abducted by a sexual predator. Yet, Barcelos handles this scenario with eloquence and grace, masterfully building moments that will make you squirm while tastefully leaving any gory details to the reader's imagination.
MY SORE HUSH-A-BYE creates a sort of Stockholm syndrome situation. The predator has been quite skillful in subjugating his prey and Barcelos takes us deep into the mind of his young victim, one of the most real characters I've read in recent independent literature, to show us the conflicting thoughts and emotions born of 8 years with an abuser who claims to be a protector.
I really don't want to give away any more. You'll just have to read it yourself to understand. And read it you should. Barcelos has again proven herself a master at capturing the voice of the haunted, the wounded, the troubled. And, as the hope of the human spirit triumphs over despair, we feel every nuance precisely thanks to Barcelos' skill with both the English language and the human heart. This is powerful stuff.
I first came a cross this author when I read her excellent psyhcological/thriller "Mean"..This is another excellent story told in unique way..It's psychological/mystery with the perfect depiction of our children vanishing into thin air everyday...It's our sad reality now more and more..The author shows us the effects of physical, mental, sexual abuse and "Stockholm Syndrome"...Which can happen to a child when abducted very young almost like brainwashing..It takes years of intensive therapy to try and correct certain patterns of thinking..Sometimes never....
The entire story is narrated by a young teen girl Camille who lives with her Uncle Bob..She was told many years ago that her mother just up an left in the middle of the night..Uncle Bob promises Camille he will give her special love, gifts, isolate her from the mean outside world and protection for the rest of her life, so she thought...Camille is so happy one day when she is finally given a bedroom with beautiful windows and access to the whole house...The whole time thinking how much Uncle Bob really loves her..Until one day she sneaks down to the basement to check her old room, opens the bolted door and is shocked to find that Uncle Bob doesn't love her anymore..Reality sets in..Now she knows why she feels invisible.......
This is a very traumatic, heartbreaking, emotional story where it concludes with a shocking ending....But the story is not over yet....
Then Camille will cross paths with Cassandra in the sequel "Merge" where their dark secrets and true personalities will be revealed....
This is the second book I have read by this author, I thoroughly enjoyed her debut novel so I was looking forward to reading this book, it did not disappoint at all so much so I am already looking forward to her third book.
Camille lives with her Uncle Bob after her mother abandoned her when she was a young, only recently has she started to attend school and she does not fit in well. She dresses strange and does not have any friends. She doesn't like school and would love to spend all her days with Uncle Bob. She soon finds comfort when she forms a friendship with one of the girls from school, a younger girl named Ashley and they become quite close. What Ashley doesn't realise is that Camille is about to change her life forever.
The book is written in different tenses but it is easy to follow and I particularly liked the way this was written, it piqued my interest even more.
I could not put this book down, it kept me thoroughly engaged throughout and there were some very clever twists and turns in the story. The subject is dark but it is written about in a tasteful way and does not go in to too much detail.
I also enjoyed how the story ties up at the end which is very well written.
I have given this book 4 stars, a true rating for me would be 4.8 stars, I eagerly await the third book by this author.
Becky Sherriff (The Kindle Book Review)
The KBR received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. We are not connected with the author or publisher in any way, nor are we otherwise compensated for this service by Amazon or any other party
There are some truths not to be denied about "My Sore Hush a Bye" by Renate Barcelos. The first is that Barcelos is a talented writer. We are told by Camille about her life. We know from the start that Camille has been kidnapped from her home and is being isolated and sexually abused. She reminisces to us about the three times she tried to kill herself before realizing how lucky she was to have Uncle Bob and, consequently, is now embarrassed about not having come to that realization sooner. The second truth not to be denied is that this sort of work has its place in the literary world. Call it bringing society to a certain awareness of events happening to which we, as a society, may not have tuned in. Camille tells us herself toward the end of her narrative, "There are probably thousands of Camilles crying in basements, just here in Iowa. So many children left behind, left unspoken, left abandoned..." (Location 3052 Kindle Edition).
The third truth about "Sore Hush-a-Bye" by Renate Barcelos is that it is a brutal, horrible, crushing read. This is a book that had I not agreed to review it, I would not have finished. Child abuse, in general, is a hard topic. The story is told from the victim's standpoint and is so believable that it's hard not to feel sick as she talks about how she fears she's getting too old for Uncle Bob and he's looking to replace her. In Camille's stream of consciousness we learn of her journey from a home with a mother who is likely prostituting herself (Camille doesn't know what's going on but describes random men coming and going and getting sweets for staying in her room) to Uncle Bob's bringing her into a home where things happen that seem wrong and dirty but are a vehicle to being loved and cherished. People love you when you're good and do what they want.Read more ›