David Attoe Lion at the Door

ISBN 13: 9780316058001

Lion at the Door

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9780316058001: Lion at the Door
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Tells the story of Hazel Sapper, a girl growing up in England's industrial Midlands, who is more accustomed to threats and fear than security. Curious and sensitive Hazel, could not be more out of place amid the domestic violence and anti-intellectualism her father brings home from the coal mines.

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From Publishers Weekly:

In the bleak and impoverished setting of England's industrial Midlands, first novelist Attoe fleshes out with vivid, visceral immediacy the painful deformation and extinction of the human spirit by trans-generational drunkenness, family violence and incest. There are shades of D. H. Lawrence in Hazel Sapper's 1940s' childhood as the daughter of a brutishly abusive miner father. She comforts and renews herself in the powerfully evoked surrounding countryside with Rosko, her bosom friend. Attoe has a wonderful ability to summon up and celebrate the natural world without lapsing into sentimentality. (In one memorable incident, Hazel falls in with a poacher named Pockets, who, to the little girl's dismay, roasts her a hedgehog in a ball of mud over an open fire.) To survive with his spirit intact, Rosko flees his own abusive home, disappearing into the woods and leaving Hazel desolate and numb. Related initially by Hazel as a child, the novel's viewpoint shifts to her emotionally stunted daughter in the late '70s, further illuminating the tragic dimensions of Hazel's suffering, and then to Rosko upon his belated return. All the characters' voices ring true and the narrative evinces the seemingly effortless command one expects of a seasoned writer rather than a promising neophyte.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Attoe's first novel evokes in disquieting fashion the emotional devastation child abuse can elicit in its victims. Hazel Sapper is the daughter of a miner in the English Midlands whose hard life is made harder by her father's beatings. In self-defense she envisions an idyllic futurein companionship with a school chum named Rosko, himself the victim of an abusive stepfather. When Rosko runs away, Hazel's imaginary world crumbles. Feeling betrayed and full of hate, she eventually succumbs to her environment, marrying an abusive husband and failing to provide her own daughters with the love she so desperately wanted for herself. This powerful and moving tale is told in three distinct voices: Hazel's, her daughter's, and Rosko's. For the author, a fine beginning. Highly recommended.
- David W. Henderson, Eckerd Coll. Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Attoe, David
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