I absolutely loved reading ‘Invisible Ink’ written by Pippa Kelly.
I was hooked from the first chapter when the main protagonist of the story was still a young boy. Throughout the story she frequently refers back to the introduction of Maxi as a small boy when he is looking through his mum’s childhood encyclopaedia and the way he examines the words, breaking them down into syllables. Pippa Kelly allows the reader to get inside the heart and mind of Maxi as a child and as a man, by cleverly juxtaposing the story in a beautiful and sensitive way. The story gradually unfolds through two narratives.
Throughout the story, she never fails to deliver the imagery required to feed the readers imagination. I could almost see Maxi and Peter playing together on the trapeze and climbing into their hiding places. As the sibling rivalry and jealousy gains momentum with the risk of running out of control, the reader is kept guessing if just maybe, Maxi does have some link with the disappearance of his brother Peter. This is reinforced by the way Pippa Kelly describes in detail the psychological impact of the family tragedy and how the long term consequences of this, follow Maxi into his adult life.
The subject of dementia is woven into this story, without impacting on the main theme, which is the story of a missing child. As Maxi becomes more aware that his mother is slipping further and further into the realms of dementia, he also is heading towards a potential breakdown. He is haunted by the tragedy of his missing brother and his assumed avoidance of the responsibility he has for his mother.
While trying to suppress his past, he puts his present situation as a London based Lawyer, and a new father, at risk.
This is a very emotional read. I felt the pain of bereavement in the true sense of the word and also in terms of a pseudo bereavement linked to the process of dementia.
Invisible Ink Book Synopsis
London lawyer Max Rivers has it all – a burgeoning career, a beautiful girlfriend, an exclusive address – but he harbours a long-buried secret that threatens to destroy his carefully constructed world. Invisible Ink is a mesmerising novel of guilt, loss and betrayal within a family – of sibling jealousy that threatens to run out of control, a mother’s life all-but forgotten through the fog of dementia and a son who longs to, but cannot, escape his past. Pippa Kelly’s haunting debut offers a deft exploration of the complex emotions hidden beneath the surface of our lives; drawing its readers into Max’s story and leading them, step by careful step, towards its inevitable dénouement.
About Pippa Kelly
Pippa Kelly writes extensively in the national press about dementia, with which her mother lived for over a decade. She blogs for the Huffington Post and mariashriver.com, and has her own award-winning website, pippakelly.co.uk. She lives in Wandsworth with her husband and dog, Bert.
‘Invisible Ink’ by Pippa Kelly is published by Austin Macauley and is available from all good bookshops.