SCOTTISH ISLAND FICTION
Whoever gossips to you will also gossip about you… Spanish Proverb
A secret is a kind of promise…it can also be a prison…Jennifer Lee Carrell
Shame is a soul eating emotion…C.Jung
Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead…Benjamin Franklin
While you were judging others, you left your closet open and a bunch of skeletons fell out…Unknown
Guilt is one side of a nasty triangle; the other two are shame and stigma. This grim coalition combines to inculpate women themselves of the crimes committed against them…Germain Greer
Gossip, rumour, secrets and judgements are a part of life in this community on the Island of Rothesay in Scotland during the 1980’s. Michael is a twelve-year-old boy who is just starting to understand the whispers and giggles when his Grandma and Ma exchange information in the kitchen. He knows it’s about other people but he is also picking up on some of things that are said – even if he occasionally needs to check out some of the words in the dictionary. His neighbour dances in her living room and he cannot help watching because, well gee, she does keep her curtains open. And girls seem to fascinate and disgust him in equal measure. His home is mostly happy until one night something happens, and suddenly everything is different. Why has everything changed at home? The behaviour of adults can be truly baffling in the best of times – and these are not the best of times. Gossip can be crippling, but silence can also have consequences.
This is a coming of age story but it is also much more; shame and fear of shame, action vs. inaction, and personal responsibility vs. group responsibility are also examined.
CLOSED DOORS is a fairly short novel but it left me with lots to think about.
CLOSED DOORS Lisa O’Donnell 2014 HarperCollins 246