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The Monkey Puzzle Treeby Sonia Tilson
Synopses & Reviews
"Early encounters with malign adult power mark Gillian Davies as a brand marks flesh. In Sonia Tilson's beautifully designed novel, we see how in all her relationships—family, friends, work, love—Gillian is both vital and damaged, eager yet constrained. Tilson's engaging story features a host of memorable minor characters on both sides of the Atlantic, and it culminates in a most satisfying confront-the-abuser scene. A fine first novel."—Cynthia Flood
Gillian Davies was six years old when she was sent to a remote Welsh village to escape the Blitz. She was told she was lucky: all the other evacuees were billeted in humble cottages while she was to live in Maenordy, the isolated manor house up on the hill. Yet it was here, in this place of supposed comfort and safety, that she suffered sexual abuse, the shame of which would alienate her from her mother and haunt her for the rest of her life.
Decades later, Gillian is living in Canada and with a son and a granddaughter of her own when she receives word that her mother is dying. Though she hasnt returned to Wales since she left it as a young woman, she now rushes back impulsively, determined to reveal at long last to her mother what befell her as a child. But can she?
Alternating between past and present, World War II Wales and Canada, The Monkey Puzzle Tree is the passionate and disturbing account of Gillians struggle to accept her childhood trauma, forgive her mother, and confront her abuser—who seems, she discovers, to be as dangerous as ever.
"The Monkey Puzzle Tree is an emotional thriller. It is disturbing, intelligent and compulsively readable."—Mary Borsky
It's Christmas in Wales during the Blitz, and an incident of childhood sexual abuse sparks a lifetime of self-recrimination.
Gillian Davies is six years old when her mother sends her to Croessfordd to escape the Blitz. But can she escape the sexually coercive Angus, whos returned from boarding school for Christmas vacation? Alternating between WWII Wales and present-day Canada, The Monkey Puzzle Tree is the story of Gillian's struggle to accept her childhood trauma, forgive her mother, and confront Angus—who, it seems, is as dangerous as ever.
Sonia Tilson was born in Swansea, South Wales and educated at Monmouth School for Girls. She has taught English since 1964. The Monkey Puzzle Tree is her first novel.
About the Author
Sonia Tilson was born in Swansea, South Wales and educated at Monmouth School for Girls and at the University of Swansea. She emigrated to Canada in 1964 where she taught English. She currently lives in Ottawa.
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