INSIDE MY HEAD
A book that was written in the 1990s, yet it never fails to stir something within me even in 2012. There are two parts of this book: the first part is fun and enjoyable, and the next part is dark, and the dark part will leave you wondering how things can change so much in such a short span of time.
The story is about an American woman, Mallory Keswick, a graduate of Radcliff and married to an Englishman, Andrew Keswick. They have been married for almost a decade. They have twins, a son and a daughter. In the opening chapter of the novel we can find how good their life was, how deeply she was in love with Andrew.
“Andrew is my first love, my only love. There will never be anyone else for me. We will be with each other for the rest of our lives, he and I. This is the one great constant in my life, one which sustains me. Our children will grow up, leave us to strike out on their own as adults, have families of their own one day. But Andrew and I will go on into our twilight years together, and this knowledge comforts me”
Taylor is very descriptive and she describes everything in great detail, the characters too are very real and believable. As we move on the book, she introduces us to their world, their celebration of Andrew and Mall’s anniversary. We can see how perfect their world was, everyone of the family coming together to celebrate an event of the family. There’s nothing more for her to ask than she already has. The book tells us of her visits to England, the trip she took to spend sometime with Andrew and her mother in law, Diana. This first part of the novel is a real breeze; you won’t even know how the time passes.
But it doesn’t last long. Andrew and the twins go to visit their other house, the Indian Meadows as Mal and Sarah were giving a baby shower in the honor of Alicia Munroe. And it takes just one incident to take everything that Mal has in her life. Two youths were full of drugs. They have apparently been smoking crack cocaine and one of them just went wild and started firing wildly. Andrew, Jamie, Lisa and their pet Trixy were killed.
Her whole life has earlier been driven by her family, taking care of Andrew and the twins was her life and when they are dead, she finds her life to be devoid of any meaning.
“I was alone.
My husband was dead.
My children were dead.
My little pet, Trixy, was dead.
I should be dead too.
And I would have been if I had come with them to the Indian Meadows that weekend in December. But I have stayed in the city to give a shower for Alicia Munroe, and because of that I was alive.
I didn’t want to be alive. I had nothing to live for now, no reason for being”
She becomes so sad that she even plans to kill herself, but she is not left alone for any length of time. Sometimes her mother comes, or sometimes her friend Sarah comes to spend the weekend with her. And she waits for them to leave her alone.
She even tries once, but right when she was about to cut her wrist she saw Lisa, standing and calling her name. And though it was a hallucination, it kept her from killing herself.
Unable to cope with the disaster she finally decides to go to the Kilgram Chase, the house where Andrew grew up. She thinks she will be close to him there.
“I knew what I had to do. I must go to the Kilgram Chase. I wanted to be in Andrew’s childhood home, the place where he had grown up. Perhaps there I would feel him close to him once more; perhaps there he would come back to me”
She spends her time in Kilgram Chase thinking about Andrew, but Diana finally succeeds in drawing her out of the shell, with tough love as Mall’s mother used to say. She heals gradually, though she admits to
Diana that not even a day passes when she doesn’t think of Andrew and the twins. And to keep everything out of her mind she dives into her work and keeps herself real busy. She opens a shop and a café, which turns out to be a real success. Her business turns out good, but her life doesn’t. In her words she wasn’t living, she had learnt just how to function.
In course of time, she even meets a nice man named Richard. He is a regular customer though they haven’t talked before. But Sarah invites him for dinner where they finally meet. They enjoy each others company and it goes on. She loved and cared for him but she’s afraid of commitment.
“And I am ultimately afraid of love. What if I fell in love with Richard and he left me? Or died? Or was killed doing his job? Where would I be then? I couldn’t bear to suffer the loss of a man again.”
He proposes her but she doesn’t answer right away, she says she can’t go through all she has been again and he waits. When he asks again she refuses, but seeing him crestfallen she realizes that she has no right to hurt him and that it’s time because Andrew wouldn’t have wanted her to be alone. She agrees to live together with him for a while at the Indian Meadows.
“As we went into the house together he drew me closer to him, his hand firm on my shoulder.
For the first time since Andrew’s death I felt safe. And I knew that everything was going to be alright”
I love her writing style and the characters that she has created. This is a good book, and I am sure the story will be with you even after you have long finished reading.