Thursday, June 16, 2011

Untouchable-Scott O'Connor

Scott O'Connor
Tyrus, May 1 2011, $15.95
ISBN: 9781935562504

One year ago, Lucy Darby suddenly died. Her husband David who is used to working with death as crime cleanup technician cannot understand what happened to his healthy wife. Their school aged “Kid” Whitney also cannot comprehend what occurred to his mother.

Twelve months since the tragedy happened both still grieve. As he cannot move on, David has no idea how to help his son as he cannot help himself; thus the Kid remains mute since he lost his mother. Whitney only communicates through his notebooks. Meanwhile while David struggles with cleaning away violence, he is on the brink of a break down and perhaps insanity. The Kid, the target of bullies at school, believes when Y2K arrives, he will bring his still alive (in his mind) mother home soon.

Untouchable is a profound insightful tale of grief that asks what happens when a person fails to move through the Five Stages of Grief as defined by the Kubler-Ross Model but instead becomes locked deeper into one of the first steps. David seems Bipolar as he fluctuates between phases 2 Anger and 4 Depression but never moves into 5 Acceptance and for the most part skips 3 Bargaining. The Kid remains locked inside phase 1 Denial. Both are rapidly mentally and emotionally deteriorating. Not for everyone Scott O’Connor provides a powerful character study of a father and son failing to move on following the death of the loved one who was the family focus as grief is customized.

Harriet Klausner

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