Published: 2013 by Hachette Australia
Read: March 2013
Categories: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Australian
Why it made it to the top of the pile: The subject matter grabbed me from the start.
Trivia Tidbit: Dr Dawn Barker grew up in Scotland, studied medicine at Aberdeen University and moved to Australia in 2001. She lives in Perth, Western Australia.
Full Disclosure: Advance Reading Copy from the publisher and thereadingroom.com
Anna and Tony are new parents of six-week-old Jack, their loved and longed-for son. Anna is finding the transition to motherhood difficult - some days she cannot stop crying, other days she forces a smile and insists she is fine. Both Anna and Tony are tired, and Tony is relieved to head back to work. He senses something is not quite right, but justifies changes in Anna's demeanour as tiredness and adjustment to the big changes Jack has brought into their lives. He takes comfort in the knowledge that his mother is heading over to help Anna out, and involves himself in catching up with his work. But then his mother calls, and Anna and Jack are missing. And Tony's world falls apart.
Fractured tells Anna, Tony and Jack's story, from both Anna and Tony's point of view and from before and after the day Anna and Jack go missing. Anna suffers from post-natal psychosis, a (thankfully) rare mental illness which can affect women soon after childbirth. For more information, follow this link to the Black Dog Institute website. Dawn Barker has the tremendous ability to pull you into Anna and Tony's stories and, as a reader, you feel the body blows almost physically as they rail, suffer and try to rebuild their lives. There is no right and wrong in Fractured, just an overwhelming feeling of heartbreak which extends to all the characters, including Tony and Anna's parents.
I read this book months ago and have struggled writing a review. It has been challenging for me to find the right words - I think is it an important and challenging and fabulous book and I wanted to do it justice - but mostly because mental illness is a tough, sometimes heartbreaking and rarely acknowledged affliction that deserves a greater audience and more understanding.
You should read this book.