Tricky topic but author nails it

Tricky topic but author nails it

In Fractured, debut novelist Dawn Barker considers the impact of parenthood on a young mother and the excruciating flow-on effect this has on her child, husband and extended family. As a first-time novel, it’s outstanding; Fractured is a searing, unforgettable portrait of a fractured mind and family torn to pieces.

Tony is at work when he receives a phone call from his mother saying his wife, Anna, and six-week-old son are missing. His gut feeling turns into a nightmare when Anna is found on the edge of a seaside cliff. Without Jack.

Barker explores the topic of mental illness, and more specifically, postpartum psychosis, with candour and compassion. The story is told from multiple perspectives and moves back and forth between time. It’s a brave choice of topic for a first novel, but Barker has nailed it.

The characters brought out a range of emotions in me as I read. Something broke in Anna’s mind when she gave birth. She put so much expectation onto her birth plan, believing her careful and thoughtful plan would show how much she values her son.

His entrance into the world is meant to be full of love and wonder ‘