A very sensitive subject and one that is very relevant in today’s climate. Lisa Ballantyne deals with it very well.
We hear from a young 12 year old, Angela, who accuses her married, father-of-two drama teacher, Nick, of sexual abuse. The story is written from both the two main characters perspectives and also the peripheral characters – Nick’s family, Angela’s family etc.
I swung back and forth between Angela and Nick, and couldn’t decide who was telling the truth and who was the Little Liar. However, I think that both of them can take that accolade for different reasons. We sympathise at first with Nick, as our first encounter with Angela is her beating another girl into a pulp and getting expelled from school. As the story progresses, we hear more and more about what has, or hasn’t, happened and don’t know what to believe.
It made me feel sad, that an innocent person could be affected in this way. Both an innocent child or an innocent accused. One must remember that there are two sides to every story, and we should try not to judge until we hear both. I did see the twist at the end coming, quite a while before it happened, but it didn’t detract from the story at all.
I was glad that although it is a sensitive subject matter, and Ballantyne could have described the actual abuse a lot more, she didn’t. She didn’t use that level of detail for sensationalism or shock value. Well done. Your writing alone did that for you.
Lot’s of twists and turns, compelling, thought provoking. A good read.