Review Blog

Jun 04 2018

Small spaces by Sarah Epstein

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Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781921877381
(Age: senior secondary - adult) Highly recommended. Themes: Psychological thriller, young adult, contemporary, mental health and trauma. Small Spaces follow the journey of Tash Carmody, a traumatised teen with memories that haunt her from the carnival she attended as a young girl. She watched her friend Mallory Fisher get lured away by her grisly imaginary friend we know as Sparrow. At the time of Mallory's disappearance nobody believed of Sparrow's existence and people forced Tash to believe he isn't real. After Tash's parents force her to see several psychologists and psychiatrists her friend Sadie, the edgy lesbian, helps calm Tash down when she starts to have anxiety attacks by reasoning with her. However, Sadie doesn't know everything as Tash is scared Sadie will think she's crazy. After Mallory's disappearance the Fishers moved away for many years, hoping for a fresh start. Tash was doing better, but when the Fishers start to miss their country town and come back home to Port Phillip, it causes everything Tash worked towards to come crashing down. Tash's memories of the carnival come flooding back and Sparrow is slowly starting to appear again. Tash's aunty also suddenly pops into her life again and offers her to come around to the family house, where she first encountered Sparrow as a young girl. Accepting this offer Tash believes she may find some closure to Sparrows' existence. Mallory's older brother, Morgan, also starts to take an interest in Tash; she realises that he provides not only a welcomed distraction but a way to get closer to Mallory. Mallory now being a mute since the week she went missing, Tash realises the key to finding out what links their dark past is Mallory and hearing what really happened to her. Will Tash finally get the closure she craves to live a normal life? Does Sparrow even exist? or is Tash far more dangerous other people then she really thinks?
Similar reads to Small Spaces would be White Rabbit, Red Wolf  by Rom Pollock and The Tribe 2: The disappearance of Ember Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina.
Emily V. (Student)

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