*Trigger Warning* This book deals with PTSD.
Traumata by Douglas Renwick
In Khuh Tabar, high up in foothills of the Hindu Kush, a young Englishwoman watches her loved-ones die. In 2020, she returns to England, bereaved and broken.
When she discovers the identity of the man who murdered them, her grief turns to anger. She seeks solace from an on-line bereavement support group. One of them advises her to kill him.
Should she honour the ancient code of the Pashtuns and avenge their deaths, risking a life sentence for murder, or abide by the laws of her homeland and live with her anger forever?
After reading some books recently that didn’t have me turning the pages at the speed of lightning, I was happy to pick up a book that got me excited. Saying that, it didn’t get me excited for the reason I originally thought it would: an exploration of Afghanistan. Instead, I got my favourite “who dunnit” story.
The main suspect in this “who dunnit” story is Melanie. Melanie is an intriguing character but I did feel it hard to connect with her. Or should I say feel empathetic towards her, considering there is probably nothing similar in our respective lives.
All the way through Traumata, I was unsure if Melanie killed “Mr. Nasty” or not. That made for a thrilling read, plus the fact that I wasn’t sure what was Melanie or what was her PTSD talking. I actually learned a lot about PTSD in this book, which more than made up for the information I was expecting to gather about Afghanistan. One of the key points was that sometimes PTSD sufferers can misplace fantasy for reality, hence my comment on not being able to figure Melanie out. In addition, there is also that fact that Melanie’s father is the narrator of this story. We rarely get first hand accounts of what Melanie is actually feeling or thinking, besides the emails she writes/shows to her father.
Unfortunately, my excitement fizzled out by the end of Traumata. I enjoyed the well-thought out telling of Melanie’s trial, but the ending fell a bit flat. Saying that, I can’t deny that this was a great read and it has inspired me to read more books with characters with PTSD. Let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations.
I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review.