If you’ve read The Dampness of Mourning you’ll get some insights into what happens to Red, so I’d have to advise if you’ve not read it to leave TDOM until this comes out but for me it was simple, I’m that invested in this series and its characters that it was an impossible task not to start this immediately.
The story of Red Piccirilli’s childhood is gripping, after the events of the novella Within this Garden Weeping, Red and his family move to the town Division, a town of secrets, of ghosts, a murderous town in the grip of a killer who is taking the lives of young women.
Almost immediately Red is befriended by an older boy named Abraham who introduces him to an adrenalin fuelled game of risk and uncertainty in the town morgue. Red’s never really had many friends in his life and he’s soon taken in by Abraham, shown the ways of alcohol and strippers, leading to a particularly sickening event as Red’s life begins to slide out of control.
Life’s changing dramatically for Red, his Fathers acting a bit strange, worryingly out of character and Red learns of family he never knew existed here in Division.
The Collected Songs of Sonnelion is altogether a more hard hitting and heartbreaking story than anything in the Division Series so far, only Iron Rust Butterflies comes close to the tragedy and loss prevalent in Songs.
My review wouldn’t be complete without a quote, Red reflects while at the hospital, ‘Life has teeth and you can’t protect your babies forever can you? Because they’re destined to go out into the dark world and find their own way, and they’re destined to search out their own darkness and collect any happiness they can discover, but there’s not much balance and very little hope because the world’s teeth are so fucking sharp and its jaws so strong and its steps so quiet…’
‘The stranger hovered there, his mouth stuck in a silent scream that seemed joyful, eyes full of a thousand storms and yet peaceful, hands clenching at air as if searching for something to keep him from drifting away and at the same time grasping for anything to choke the life from.’
This is the most absorbing and intense fiction I’ve ever read, dark and emotional, even writing this review a week after I finished, brings it all back, stirs my feelings again. Highly Recommended.
Just got to read As I Embrace My Jagged Edges, then the agonising wait for the next release.