'Robert Eggleton has served as a children's advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known locally for his nonfiction investigative reports about children’s programs. Today, he is a recently retired children's psychotherapist from a mental health centre in West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome abuse and mental health concerns. His debut novel, Rarity from the Hollow, was named one of five best reads in 2015 by a Codices, has been awarded Gold Medals by Awesome Indies and Readers' Favorite, and has been so well received that it is scheduled for republication by Dog Horn Publishing. Author proceeds from Eggleton's Lacy Dawn Adventures project have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. Robert continues to write adult literary science fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.'
It’s not often that a science-fiction based novel can tug at your heart strings, confuse you to no end and be satirical yet enjoyable all at once. I must admit this isn’t a novel for the faint-hearted, I was disturbed and confused whilst reading the first chapters. But once I grasped the concept and the characterisation of the novel it became clear and it was an enjoyable reading experience. The exploration of mental health and childhood trauma’s definitely portray this as a very adult book (not necessarily a bad thing, just an observation.) I enjoyed Lacy as the protagonist, the other characters although flawed, were also fascinating to read. A unique story line in combination with these yet again, unique characters overall makes for a one-of-a-kind novel. The overall weirdness of the book is was kept me reading. Although it's not my genre (which I didn't realise until I read it) it's a definite recommend for science-fiction lovers and those that like hard-hitting novels.
Robert Eggleton has written an extremely hard-hitting yet satirical novel that I still think about, even having finished it a while ago. This review has taken me a while to write as I still can’t quite get my head around the novel and its musings. If like me, you are particularly sensitive and hate to read about maltreatment (especially to do with children) then this might not be for you. Despite this I would definitely recommend this novel, because it is important to not shelter ourselves from uncomfortable and upsetting topics. More to the point, Robert’s work with children and as psychotherapist has not gone amiss whilst reading the novel. The depth to the character of Lacy is testament to Robert’s work in helping victims cope with and overcome abuse. Rarity from the Hollow offers an insightful look into a new world that is so alike and yet so unlike one we live in.
Set in The Hollow, West Virginia (USA), but also an intergalactic spaceship and aliens, the main character, Lacy Dawn has a highly dysfunctional family. I don’t want to say in what way for fear of writing spoilers. However the lack of love in the novel is interesting. Here we have a normal 12 year old girl, who has been raised without love and aside the love for her ‘boyfriend’ (if we can call him that) there is none in the novel. This is what makes it so jarring. A normal child should be raised solely on a diet of pure love and to see Lacy and her mother be treated in the way that they are is honestly heart-breaking. The psychological issues that are scattered cleverly throughout the novel also aid the fantastic writing and character presence.
Overall, I would recommend Rarity from the Hollow, admittedly it isn’t a novel I would normally have read, but it was different and insightful and did open my eyes to issues I wasn’t much aware of before reading. Even if you don’t like the sound of the novel, it is worth buying/trying it as the sales of the novel go solely to a child abuse prevention programme which is highly highly admirable and a wonderful thing for an author to do! http://www.childhswv.org/