Being Tommy’s mother is too much for Sonya.
Too much love, too much fear, too much longing for the cool wine she gulps from the bottle each night. Because Sonya is burning the fish fingers, and driving too fast, and swimming too far from the shore, and Tommy’s life is in her hands.
Once there was the thrill of a London stage, a glowing acting career, fast cars, handsome men. But now there are blackouts and bare cupboards, and her estranged father showing up uninvited. There is Mrs O’Malley spying from across the road. There is the risk of losing Tommy – forever.
Bright Burning Things is bold, powerful and extremely emotional. Sonya’s story brings out so many emotions in the reader: anger, sadness, frustration and empathy. I felt that it gave me a real insight into what it is like living with an addiction. Never before have I considered the strength of addiction and how it is so consuming.
I never doubted that Sonya wanted to be a good Mum and I could see that she did strive to do her best but sometimes it just wasn’t good enough. It made me consider the impact positive relationships could have on your recovery, something Sonya was sadly lacking in. Being judged and feeling inadequate really seemed to heighten her stress and anxieties making the road to recovery ever more difficult.
At times this was a difficult read, particularly when reading about some of the decisions she makes with regards to Tommy. Nevertheless, it is captivating!
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Published on 4th March 2021