Contemporary Fiction

Idle Hands – Cassondra Windwalker

3 July 2020
Idle Hands Book Cover Idle Hands
Cassondra Windwalker
Contemporary Fiction
Agora Books
23 July 2020

You can call me Ella. You generally assign me a whole host of other preposterous monikers. I think the least imaginative name I’ve heard is “the devil”, but I’ll answer to it if I must.

After making the courageous decision to leave her abusive husband, Perdie and her three young children start over and finally find the safety and love they deserve. But years later, when tragedy strikes, Perdie is left wondering if the choice she made to leave has led them to this moment.

If she were given the opportunity to take it all back and stay, would she?

In a frantic bid to protect her family, Perdie makes a deal to do just that. But in a world where the devil pulls the strings, can Perdie really change the past?

Brimming with enlightened observations and brilliant voice, Idle Hands is a haunting examination of grief, resilience, and what we’d give to spend another moment with the ones we love.

Oh my goodness, this book is amazing! Perdie is struggling with a dilemma which many victims of domestic abuse face. Should she leave her violent and manipulative husband Matt and risk her children (Hannah, Rachel and Tad) growing up in the possible poverty of a single parent family struggling to make ends meet or stay, protect her children, take the blows in secret so they can have the chance of the best in life. ‘Ella’ is ‘The Adversary’ better known to us humans as the Devil, whose job it is to tempt, to offer alternatives which is a game in return for a ‘win’. The story is told extremely cleverly in circular form though Perdie with interjections and reflections by Ella.

First of all, I flew through this book in one session that’s how good I think it is. It is gripping, very well written, clever and original. I love Ella’s observations on humans which are pertinent, accurate, witty, cynical and wise. Yes, wise! I don’t wish to spoil Ella’s thoughts on the nature of mankind but it’s philosophical and thought provoking. The story with Perdie’s life with Matt is desperately sad and your heart breaks at the impact he has on the mental well being of his children to say nothing of the physical effects on Perdie. Whichever route Perdie is tempted to choose there is a huge price to pay. There are some shocking scenes, stark choices and heartbreaking tests. The end is excellent as Ella reflects on the outcome.

Overall, this is compulsive and gripping reading, it makes you think and reflect on the human condition. This is a book I will definitely remember. Highly recommended.

The cover is brilliant!

With thanks to NetGalley and Agora Books

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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