by Joanna Lloyd
Publication Date: Jan 30, 2018
About the Book:
Layla Danforth’s is a charmed life.
Until the morning it all goes up in smoke. Literally. A mysterious fire consumes her home, her body and her memory; and changes her life irrevocably. The once beautiful, vivacious Layla is now a pitiful creature with a wretched twist of a face. Her high flying corporate career is unravelling and her boyfriend recoils at her touch.
Bent on obliterating this Halloween version of herself, Layla haunts a dark, soulless bar, patronised by the rejects and misfits of Sydney. Characters she would have once crossed the road to avoid; characters who invade her psyche and break down the beliefs and prejudices that ruled her existence. In the half-reality of The Black Hole bar, the obese barman, Clyde Campbell, serves up a comforting brand of psychology with his drinks, and begins to soften Layla’s self-loathing.
But there is still the issue of her lost memory, and as it returns, so do the horrific details of the fire. A truth so shocking, it threatens to destroy the very foundations of all that went before.
Ms. Lloyd never, ever disappoints. Can You See Me is a powerful portrait of human nature – with all its flaw and triumphs – from the very first moment. Her characters are complex, well-drawn, and interesting; the pathos, compassion, and insight rich beyond words.
If you read the blurb and wonder if the theme might be too much, fear not. Deep though the subject is, it is handled with so much dexterity, humor, and clarity, you will be forever glad you took the ride. So then, are you ready for some self-searching? Yea or Ney, you will get it here, unless, that is, you have a heart of stone. But never fear, you will search with joy, understanding, and even cheer-leading.
As with all of Ms. Lloyd’s writing, the prose is fluid and captivating. This is a page-turner, not due to suspense, but due to intellectual captivation.
The images of horror and despair, of determination and triumph, are wonderfully wrought and moving, and will linger in my mind as a standard by which I hope to pattern my life.
Extremely well done.
About the Author:
Joanna Lloyd was born in Papua New Guinea and attended boarding school in Sydney, Australia. With a background in Psychology, she trained to be a mediator and conducted workplace and family law mediations for many years. After muscular dystrophy caused her to be wheelchair bound, she transferred her fascination with human behaviour from real people to the written word. She now lives and writes in tropical Far North Queensland, Australia - her version of paradise.
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