Rose, Interrupted

Rose and her younger brother Rudder are ‘decommissioning’. This means they are adjusting to life not being Pilgrims, a hardline Christian community of which their family were members until a mysterious accident. However, they are finding the real world filled with more challenges than expected. Things were going okay until an explicit photo sent to Rudder’s phone suddenly threatens their new lives.

The latest novel from Patrice Lawrence, writer of the acclaimed Orangeboy and Indigo Donut, this is a gripping exploration of life outside what is essentially a cult into the chaotic real world of London. In a non-judgemental way, the author depicts the attractions and many pitfalls of such a rigid faith, showing the unfair and often hypocritical fashion in which they operate. Also the book makes a fascinating comparison with how the secular world often shares the same patriarchal views of young women and while seeming more liberal, betrays them in the same way through shame.

Switching perspective between Rose and Rudder, Rose, Interrupted gives the reader a full understanding of both protagonists and the difficult circumstances they find themselves in. However, it would be incorrect to give the impression that the book is heavy handed. While handling difficult subjects as fundamentalism and cyber-bullying, the author deftly ties the two subjects together in a compelling fashion with humour and humanity. I thoroughly recommend this book and suggest that readers will not want to be interrupted reading it.