My review of ‘Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight’ by Jo Robinson
This is the story of a woman who finally sees a chink of light after thirty years of marriage. As the shutters fall from her eyes, blazing sunshine floods in and she can see how she has suffered at the hands of her husband Marco, a control freak – a narcissist.
Donna is a fifty five year old woman who believed her life was as it was meant to be. Her only refuge was her garden, filled with exotic and rare plants. She tended it lovingly and treated the plants as her only friends while she herself was treated as a downtrodden simpleton, an imbecile, somebody not worth giving the time of the day.
A chance encounter at the moment of realisation changes her life, she finds someone who wants to be a friend. The new friend sees things that weren’t at first obvious to the reticent Donna, but with her gentle encouragement Donna finally breaks from her shell and begins to blossom, finding more new friends along the way.
Life for Donna will never be the same again, but can she do what she needs to do? Escape is her only option, but with a narcissistic husband that is not as easy as it sounds. Can she achieve the impossible with the help of her new friends?
Jo Robinson has produced a wonderful novel here. I love the easy style and the way the characters leap of the page. You get to know them intimately and with Donna you find yourself urging her on, a lifelong loser who can finally cast her shackles aside to run forward and win.
This is quite a thought provoking book.
There is an obvious appeal to female readers, but I think that this crosses the gender barrier and male readers will enjoy it too.
The subject matter brings to light something that is hidden in many lives, but if this work of fiction resonates with just one reader in the future then the author has done more than just putting pen to paper.