Friday, February 23, 2018

Book Review: 'Homed' by Rosalind Minett

British author Rosalind Minett began her career in the arts as a dancer - in RADA (for those outside the UK, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) - but switched directions when she studied psychology at Birmingham, Sussex and Exeter universities and became a Psychologist. This combination of experience offers her the ability to crawl inside the psyches of her characters while creating a proscenium arch setting in intricate details for her chosen subject - whether writing comedy, historically influenced novels or crime tales - before enjoying a career as a chartered psychologist. She is successfully able to wear the twin masks of comedy/tragedy and still maintain a rather phenomenal sense of finding the humor in the worst of situations and the compensatory dark side of the best of incidents. She is a hell of a fine writer!

In a very brief short story Rosalind manages to create a tale about young 9 year old Josh who is being ‘transferred’ from one ‘care home’ to a new one. Josh is not mute but has issues with talking and with being touched. He refers to the adults as Tall One and other non-named persons, almost the way we would think dogs are treated and think – the world of ‘normalcy’ simply evades him. For instance, the man transporting Josh to his new ‘space’ states, ‘You'll like it there, Josh. Enid's very kind. There's just her living there, which you'll probably find easier than having two carers. And Enid's had lots of boys like – lots of boys before.'

The writing is so insightful and Rosalind manages to offer us the world as Josh perceives it; ‘The next sleeping place had New Young. I was taken to it by a female who said she was mine. She had a black bag filled with papers. Her car smelled of sick. A pink and green shiny house sat on her back seat. When the car stopped, she carried my bag to a front door that was the same as all the front doors up and down a street.’

This is another example of the skill and intelligence of Rosalind’s imagination and transferring the impossible to understand situations and thoughts into a short story that ‘bites at your neck’s marble’ and doesn’t let go. Absolutely brilliant writing. Grady Harp, September 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.