When it comes to writing, one of the key things to do is write what you know. It is one of the smarter things to do. Let’s face it, there is no point in writing about a subject that you have no knowledge of. But what if you have suffered a trauma in the past? Then writing can be great therapy and act as a way to examine those past hurts. But what if your past hurts are so awful that they can’t even be talked about? For this meeting of the KappaCino Book Club, we look at Taboo by Thomas Piggott.
The story is a true story of child abuse and the events that followed them. Thomas Piggott has opened the lock box of his mind to present us with his memories of what happened to him at the hands of his football coach. The story has been divided up very differently from many other books. Rather than a steady narrative, each chapter deals with an aspect of Thomas’s life. The story has been presented as bite-sized chunks which the author has deemed worthy to be included. Each of these sections (or chapters) helps to provide the reader with an insight into how this particular part lead to a mental breakdown later in life.
Thoughts on the Story
To be completely honest, from a reader/writer point of view, this was very hard to read. The narrative of the story jumped about a bit. There were points in the story that I did question what was happening and at what point we were at in the author’s life. But I can completely appreciate why the book was sectioned this way. Not everything in life can be told in a linear fashion and Taboo is one of those stories. Although it was hard to follow in places, if it had been written any other way, I think it would have detracted from the seriousness of the subject. In recent years, we have seen plenty of books about childhood abuse, and this is not like any of those.
Thoughts on the Author
I applaud Thomas for speaking out and writing this book. Childhood abuse is something that no-one should have to deal with. But unfortunately, it does happen. What I will say is this, he has handled the trauma and funneled into a creative outlet. You might not agree with what he has done, but abuse and mental issue are things that need to be talked about. There is a level of courage that a person needs to have to address something like this. This is not just therapy, this is the bearing of a soul.
This is a difficult book to read, and not just because of the abuse. Although this is a true story and the author has tried to be as honest as he could, it does feel a bit disjointed in places. I feel that with some more time put into it and for the author to process his emotions more, it could be a great one. But, that is not what this book is about. This is about self-therapy, facing your demons, and not being afraid to deal with the stigma of a childhood that was destroyed. If you want to attempt to understand mental health, then read this book. You will be surprised at the fragile state of the human mind, and you will definitely appreciate your own life more.