My first acquaintance with the writing of Cassandra Parkin came about when I read her novel "Underwater Breathing". The second work of hers I read was "The Winter's Child". I was so impressed by both of those that I've come to realize that I will endeavor to read everything she has written - as time permits.
The cover of "The Slaughter Man" might lead a prospective reader to think that they were about to read a horror novel or a thriller. They would be incorrect. Although Cassandra Parkin's books have elements of other genres, they are all well-rendered literary fiction. "The Slaughter Man" is no exception.
This is a novel about the many facets of grief. Sounds like a downer you say? No, that was not the case here. Though I'm a crier, this novel did not make me weep. On reflection, I believe it was because the entire story had a subtle underlying feel of hopefulness.
The surreal nature of Willow's dreams added much to the overall narrative. Also, the setting was rich in detail and easily imagined.
Memorable due to its fully fleshed-out characters, "The Slaughter Man" tells us what all good literary fiction tells us. It speaks to the human condition and how we are all an amalgam of emotions - despair vying with hope on a daily basis. This novel reaffirms the advice that we all must attempt to find as much joy as we can.