Mitch Cullin’s Tideland

This has to be one of the most disturbing books I have ever read. It tells the story about a little girl, Jeliza-Rose, whose parents are heroin addicts. Her mother dies and her father takes her to Texas to his mother’s home. The house has no running water, no electricity, and it is well away from any sort of civilization. After arriving in Texas, Jeliza-Rose’s father promptly dies leaving her to fend for herself. The cast of characters include her many Barbie doll heads, an odd older woman and her brother.

Cullin tells his tale without pulling any punches. He shows you exactly what this little girl has lived with all her life. Her mother was abusive towards her, and her father, while loving, was a little more than clueless. This book is haunting and frightening. It made me, as a mother, want to scoop up this child and protect her from the people who should have loved her most.

A friend recommended this book to me, and while I agree that it is masterfully written from the point of view of a very young girl, it was extremely disturbing. I’ll probably read it again in the future just to catch the nuances that I probably missed by being so horrified by the situation Jeliza-Rose was put in. I’ve also been told by the same friend that Terry Gilliam, a masterful film maker in his own right, has translated this novel to film. I’m not entirely sure that I can handle seeing the images this novel creates on screen. I had a hard enough time with the images in my mind.

*edited for spelling errors*

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Filed under Fiction, Pleasure Reading

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