Having met Daisy in Phil Earle’s Being Billy I was eager to find out her story. I have to say I haven’t been disappointed … Daisy’s life is just as intense and gripping as Billy’s was!
The prologue really does hook the reader in – you want to know if Daisy really did what she said or was it a misconception?
The first part of Saving Daisy we get to understand the relationship she has with her dad and learn about the strategy she’s developed of seeming to belong with her peers while holding herself apart. We also find out that recently, Daisy found a report, which makes her responsible for the loss of her mother. To alleviate the panic this brings, Daisy copes in the only way that brings her relief – she self-harms.
Interaction with a new teacher starting at school leads to tragedy and Daisy finds herself living in a ‘therapeutic community’ where key worker Ade has the task of building trust and sharing strategies to help Daisy come to terms with her misconceptions and how to deal with the anxiety/panic. In the therapeutic community we get to experience many dramas with the interaction of the other four residents and staff as well as Daisy’s journey.
The build up to the final crisis is nail-biting and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough! I loved how the resolution tied-in with Billy’s life.
Saving Daisy is written in the first person from Daisy’s perception. I think the author’s experience of working in a care home/as a drama therapist really shines through in Daisy’s personality. It certainly shows how well he knew the people he cared for.
The characters in Saving Daisy are true to life and we get to know them through their dialogue and actions rather than descriptive writing.
I can only commend Phil Earle for his portrayal of one of the ‘darker’ aspects of life that once again, not everyone wants to acknowledge or accept. He does not embellish or dramatise self-harming – he writes it as it is. I think readers will empathise with Daisy and I think quite a lot of people will identify with thoughts we have that aren’t reality or even logical.
Although Daisy is a character in Being Billy, you don’t have to have read it to be able to understand Daisy.
Oh and my favourite scene? just has to be Daisy’s 15th birthday and old video footage. I found myself grinning inanely while crying at the same time – joy!
Saving Daisy is YA but I recommend anyone who is a people-watcher, interested in psychology, likes drama and tension or has no fear of confronting the darker side of life pick up a copy for yourself. You won’t be bored.
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