Black Boxes (2020)

Black Boxes Caroline Smailes Black Boxes Ana Lewis is trapped by her own expectations Her intense relationship with fellow student Alex begins to crack beyond repair when she falls pregnant and his subsequent withdrawal emotionally and sex
  • Title: Black Boxes
  • Author: Caroline Smailes
  • ISBN: 9781906321703
  • Page: 315
  • Format: Paperback
Black Boxes Caroline Smailes Ana Lewis is trapped by her own expectations Her intense relationship with fellow student Alex begins to crack beyond repair when she falls pregnant, and his subsequent withdrawal, emotionally and sexually, are hard for Ana to bear Eventually, following the birth of Pip and then Davie, Alex leaves Ana to a life of question and blame Locked in her room for much of the tiAna Lewis is trapped by her own expectations Her intense relationship with fellow student Alex begins to crack beyond repair when she falls pregnant, and his subsequent withdrawal, emotionally and sexually, are hard for Ana to bear Eventually, following the birth of Pip and then Davie, Alex leaves Ana to a life of question and blame Locked in her room for much of the time she woefully neglects her children, preferring instead to replay scenes from her life over and over, fighting the urge to blink for fear it should dissipate the memories Told within the context of two black boxes, one Ana s and one Pip s, the story reveals the key factors that have contributed to this catastrophic breakdown of life In Black Box 01 we meet Ana as she begins to deconstruct her life She rails against Alex and his inability to love her, or to put her ahead of his domineering mother Black Box 02 is Pip s diary which details in a schoolgirl terms the neglect that both Pip and Davie have suffered Pip talks of her mother s deterioration, lack of cleanliness, and of her mother s obsessions Pip and Davie communicate through finger sign language, as their mother demands silence Davie retreats into his own world, permanently soiled and communicating only by sign, while Pip, fat and desperate, sneaks out of the house at night to have sex with a boy who hates her Pip and Davie exist in parallel, with only Ana s bedroom door separating her from them She does not want to see them They are the present and Ana chooses to live in a past, continually raking over the ashes of a relationship that was never really hers Accomplished and affecting, Caroline Smailes weaves together a catastrophic tale ofmismatched lives.
Black Boxes Caroline Smailes

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    Posted by:Caroline Smailes
    Published :2020-04-21T09:54:44+00:00

One thought on “Black Boxes

  1. Nik Perring

    I d give it stars if I couldThe book tells the story, the recording of sorts, of the last hours of 37 year old Ana s life, which is about to end by her own hand It s told in her own words and those words are told just beautifully It s poetry, beautifully tragic and honest and brutal as are the words we find in her teenaged daughter s diary.The subject matter s not pretty it s heart breaking no bad thing But it s the story and the way it s told that makes it so brilliant It s hypnotic, it s sad, [...]

  2. Jamieson

    Ana Lewis is a woman on the verge of collapse.When her lover Alex leaves her, Ana begins to fall into a spiral of depression that consumes her from the inside out Avoiding the world around her, she instead cocoons herself inside of her room, ignoring the world outside of her bedrooms four walls Inside her black box.However, this means she is ignoring her two children Pip and Davey They are both held within their own black box, their own seclusion Without their mother to look after them, Pip must [...]

  3. CuteBadger

    Ana recounts the story of her relationship with enigmatic fellow student Alex, and her daughter Pip relates her own tale, one of neglect and dysfunction, stemming from her mother s obsession with the past.This novel isn t an easy read for a couple of reasons The first is the subject matter which deals with two generations of fallout from Ana s clinging to her relationship with Alex The lives of their children, Pip and her brother Davie, are heartbreaking and make the reader feel pity and anger I [...]

  4. D.J.

    Once again Caroline has taken one of life s most important and rarely discussed issues and with her very unique voice, made it into a very readable novel.Black boxes is compelling reading.I expect readers who are not familiar with Caroline s writing will think that the topic is used to allay one s fear of the situation but as usual she does no such thing Instead, she bravely examines each nuance of this emotive topic, detailing the root cause and perpetuating factors, following the path of destr [...]

  5. Rebecca Emin

    Caroline Smailes does it again, this is another hard hitting novel dealing with gritty subjects covered in an intelligent way.The subject of untreated post natal depression hits hard as the main character, Ana, talks us through her experiences, but the voice that sticks with me the most is that of Pip, her daughter, who takes over the narrative for a section of the book She is written incredibly well and I did not want her section to end.Caroline Smailes has a unique style of writing and in each [...]

  6. sisterimapoet

    I wanted to like this than I did I like the idea that Smailes set up But something fell a bit short in the execution for me It seemed to stay on one level throughout Whilst the end was always predicted from the start the emotional intensity didn t alter much Which felt a bit heavy to carry for the whole way Perhaps the section with the daughter s diary was meant to inject some hope, as suggested by the cover blurb, but to me it seemed like the sorry cycle was starting all over again I think th [...]

  7. Morgan Eldridge

    My head hurts The format was interesting but irritating the black box gave the impression that she was speaking so as to be recorded, but the italicised script read like an inner monologue, which ended up being rather confusing It was extremely heavy reading I found it difficult to put down but felt sick to the stomach throughout I m just thoroughly saddened by such an unfair and harsh story, which is unfortunately probably spiked with truth from many a mother suffering post natal depression It [...]

  8. Brenda

    Knew I wasn t going to like it as soon as I saw the first page or two as this author has a very distinctive style,I have read In Search of Adam also but thought, wrongly, that this might be different both on Kindle but once I ve started a book I rarely give up A dark, disturbing tale of long term post natal depression and the effect on the children of the relationship It made an impression on me insomuch as I mulled it over and over for a couple of days trying to decide how much blame should be [...]

  9. Kirsty Wenn

    I read this book in one day The story was tragic, largely depressing, heartbreaking and SO sad The format was a surprise to me, as I basically plucked the book from the library shelf based on the cover and the very brief but intriguing blurb It is sometimes repetitive, but clearly this is deliberate, the recollections of a dying woman as she is drifting out of this world All in all, I enjoyed this novel and I ll be looking for the author s other books.

  10. Beth Allen

    This is a very good book, but I found it a hard read.I have struggled with depression, off and on, for about 13 years There were times I found this book impossible to read, because it reminded me of my own life in many ways.This is a realistic, at times bitterly harsh, story about a breakdown.It s very well written, interesting, and painful Caroline Smailes invites us into the subconscious of a young woman who is falling apart.

  11. Carrie

    This book could have been good, but the way it was written made it very difficult to read I also found myself NOT caring at all about any of the characters, no matter how heartbreaking their story was supposed to be I just don t believe the author developed the characters enough to suit me The author had a good idea for a good novel, but failed to deliver.

  12. Kylie

    Great story and a very interesting writing style It s a very sensitive topic so it was quite a compelling read in that way.I just found it to be to long and I started to lose a bit of interest nearing the end.

  13. Muratcan Şimşek

    This was a book of two parts one bad, one very good The story about the chind was enchanting and heartbreaking but the story of the mother was very overblown I wouldn t recommend a quarter good book to anyone.

  14. Cleo Bannister

    I bought this one for my kindle and whilst I did finish it it wasn t a pleasant or rewarding read.The ideas behind the book are good, but they are not developed what you read in the first 10 pages are simply repeated and repeated throughout the book.I couldn t reccommend this one.

  15. Cassie

    I loved the story but I didn t so much like the way it was written But I can overlook that because I enjoyed it so much I read it in one day because it was so good

  16. Ros

    I found this a strange boook in fact I m not sure if in fact it might be a poem It soured hopelessness very well but in the end I found the formatt irritating

  17. Suzanne

    Here we are witnessing the suicide, and back story of Ana Often makes for uncomfortable reading, but then suicide is never gonna be cosy.

  18. Jenny(hades2) (Chocolate Chunky Munkie)

    Heartbreaking and so sad The style of writing is different and sometimes I d have to put the book down and pick it back up after a break.

  19. Jane

    Hmmm, this was a bit of a strange book I read the whole book but wouldn t say that it was a book I would choose to read.

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