Darcy Lane James T. Graham
book review

Book Review: Darcy Lane

DARCY LANE by James T. Graham is a story of grief entangled with the possibility of overcoming it. Check out what Jaylynn Korrell has to say in her book review of this indie YA novel.

Darcy Lane

by James T. Graham

Genre: Young Adult Fiction / Contemporary

ISBN: 978-1398400177

Print Length: 130 pages

Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers

Reviewed by Jaylynn Korrell

How far must you go to escape your past?

After witnessing the death of her mother as a small child, Elise can’t ever seem to get it out of her mind. In an effort to restart her life after a mental hospital stay, she sets her sights on a future much brighter than her past. 

Darcy Lane does an excellent job of capturing the willpower necessary to continue on, the aching need to find purpose in life, and the risks that some people take to achieve it.

After returning home from a 2-year stay at a local mental hospital, Elise is more than ready to restart. She moves back in with her grandfather, but it doesn’t go as smoothly as she hoped. Just when the memories of her deceased mother begin to bog her down, she takes a chance on the local bus, and that one long ride gives Elise something to live for. 

A house on Darcy Lane becomes her new obsession, and the possibility of one day calling it home drives her to do things she never thought she was capable of. 

At just under 130 pages, this is a quick and satisfying story to read. Graham grips you with his introduction of Elise. With no context of what sent her to the mental hospital, readers quickly feel a sense of hopefulness in her situation and somehow confidence in her ability to succeed. I loved the mystery behind her past experience, as well as the lead-up into her future. 

Generational trauma pulses through the veins of this book. Much like Elise herself, her mother also lost her mother early in life. The pain of that experience for her, as well as the repercussions that came with it, are the backdrop for Elise’s childhood. 

Now it seems that she’s always outrunning the ghost of her mother in both her body and her mind. Upon her return, she’s put into contact with a couple of her mother’s childhood friends. With every piece of new information she learns about her mother, she unlocks a more similar version of herself. Our main character seems to unravel herself as she’s put into situations similar to ones her mom was put in at her age, and the path she chooses is one that turns her around.

What is ultimately a story of grief becomes entangled with the possibility of overcoming it, a wild pipe-dream that comes in the form of a quaint country home. With the house on Darcy Lane always in the background, I couldn’t help but imagine her life there—a life without the grief she’s forced to drag around. I am constantly hopeful that she’ll reach this goal too—a testament to Graham’s ability in character creation.

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