Book Review: Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton
ashley | If you’re looking for a light and easy read, Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleston is not it. But if you’re looking for a strange but important read and a chance to do some good while reading it, this is definitely the place to start. When you’re done, I guarantee you won’t know what hit you.
This book is not for everyone. There are some heavy topics and some disturbing content that addresses social issues from poverty to domestic violence to child abuse. But a strong look at these hard and heartbreaking situations are important. Spreading the word about this ugliness is important and Eggleston has made this a personal project to give mental health the spotlight and all author proceeds are being donated to a child abuse prevention program near his home state. I loved what this book stood for before ever even opening it.
Lacy Dawn speaks with this unnatural maturity for a little girl who still plays in empty refrigerator boxes. She seems to have a very astute perception of how the world works, at least in The Hollow, where she lives. It’s clear she is from a poor family and has seen a lot of hardships in her short life, including the death of her best friend and abuse at the hands of her father. It`s also clear that Lacy Dawn has a rare confidence and strength that she clings to through the whole story, as we watch her flee from being a victim and grab hold of a sense of empowerment.
The first few chapters do a great job of depicting abuse without throwing it too hard in your face; it’s kind of hard to read how casually it’s talked about between Lacy Dawn and her friend Faith, how accepted it is as just something they have to deal with and try to avoid. It’s a whole other world to me and Eggleston gives these girls a voice that not a lot of girls in similar situations have.
But a lot of things happen in this book beyond the social issues. Somehow this quickly morphs into a sci-fi book about aliens and magical forests and a ghost that inhabits inanimate objects. And Lacy Dawn discovers she is destined to save the world. She falls in love with an alien robot named DotCom who is prepping her for her destiny. And if you think all of that sounds strange, that’s just the beginning of it. The last half of this book is a total mind trip. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be metaphorical, maybe it`s Lacy Dawn`s way of manifesting her pain and fear and PTSD, her way of escaping from the abusive and poverty ridden life she knows. Or maybe it is actually happening and Lacy Dawn is just part of an unexplainable phenomenon. This line was never very clear to me, but I think that’s part of the beauty of this.
I was pretty blindsided by some of this but it held some really strong messages and had some really important discussions. It was a satirical look at society, it gave a voice to victims of abuse, it showed a little girl rise from being a victim and basically saving the entire universe and it was all done in a very unique way that leaves a strong impact.
Whether you get it or not, whether you like it or not, there’s no doubt that this is a book that will get people talking and will leave a lasting impression.
** Robert Eggleton has served as a children’s advocate for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997. Today, he is a recently retired psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia.
march 16, 2012
copy provided for honest review by
author robert eggleton