Events in Inflicted form an important part of human history that should never be forgotten. This book needs to be read and shared, and then, shared again. Ria Frances captures you from the start with her powerful storytelling, which will leave you feeling every emotion possible. Inflicted is a must read!
Inflicted by Ria Frances is set in Sussex and tells the stories of Theo and Anna. Sixteen year old Theo Drew believes that he is responsible for the death of his baby sister. As well as struggling to cope with the guilt of his terrible secret, he has been bullied in school, is subjected to the whims of his cruel, domineering grandmother and his mother has retreated into herself following baby Edens death. Anna Levinsky is introduced into his life when she finds Theo barely conscious following his most recent self harming - his attempt to make his pain go away. Elderly Anna, who lives with her dog Blackie, patches up his wounds and as they spend time together she recounts her experiences as a child/young woman living in the ghetto of Theresienstadt during the Nazi occupation. Never having told anyone her story before, she tells him how she survived and was eventually spirited away to England and safety. The majority of Inflicted focuses on Anna's story and I must admit that, for a fair part of the book, I felt that Theo's story, while sad and distressing, distracted from the deeply moving and clearly well-researched narrative of Anna's existence. The authors writing is so vivid that I felt the terror, desperation and utter despair endured by Anna and her fellow prisoners in the filthy, hopeless ghetto and felt that her story could have stood alone without Theo. However, as the book progressed, Ria Frances neatly knits together the two strands as Theo's story is further explored in the bigger context of his family and on to the surprising, yet fitting, conclusion. I was captivated by this deeply moving debut novel about the Holocaust and the horrors inflicted on the Jewish people, along with the bullying and mistreatment inflicted on one particular teenage boy and how, despite the age difference, both individuals helped one another when they met in 2010.
Inflicted - four and a half stars