Silent Trauma by Judith Barrow is such an unusual book.I read it last year when my bookblog was hibernating and found it to be one of the most powerful and thought-provoking novels I'd read for a long time.
Silent Trauma combines a detailed account of one of the worst drugs scandals I've ever read about with a well-constructed novel about four fictional characters whose lives are deeply scarred by the drug.
The drug in question is DES - Diethylstilboestrol - which was given out to thousands of pregnant women in the forties, fifties and sixties to help overcome the threat of miscarriage.
It's success was negligible and the after effects on the children and grandchildren truly shocking.
And particularly shocking because of the apparent silence relating to the scandal.
So, this book is making a substantial contribution to awareness raising but in addition it's a powerful novel that has many more dimensions to it as well as the main theme.
The characterisation is a real strength of the noveland the reader is soon deeply involved in the backstories and relationships of the four women.
At times it's a stark and bleak novelbut there is an overarching sense of resilience derived from standing together which prevents the novel from becoming depressing.
I found that the book took a bit of getting into and I diverted to google Diethylstilboestrol to understand more that this was a fictionalised account of a genuine disaster.
I'm so glad I persevered: the juxtaposition of the factual account into a fictionalised narrative makes for a fascinating, moving and surprisingly entertaining novel which I'm really glad I read.
Silent Trauma is available to download from the Amazon Kindle Store.
Further details can be found on the author's Amazon page.
Silent Trauma is available "free" for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.
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