Skip to main content

Oblivion

Review

Oblivion

Calliope Knowles suffers from graphomania --- a compulsive need to write. Callie feels the words rising up within her and must set them free by frantically scribbling with her red felt-tip pen on any available surface. These graphomania attacks began almost a year ago when the police found Callie in an abandoned apartment where she had scrawled the words “I killed him” thousands of times on the bathroom walls. Callie remembers nothing of what happened in the 36 hours before she was found that night. All anyone knows is that Palmer, Callie’s father and reverend of Holy Promise; and Hannah, a little girl in the parish, are still missing.
 
The journey Callie undertakes to deal with her graphomania and redefine her sense of self is emotionally wrought and compelling. 
 
The key to discovering what happened to Palmer and Hannah may lie in the words and riddles that fill Callie’s notebooks. As the one-year anniversary approaches, Callie’s graphomania attacks become more frequent and more intense, as they are often accompanied by blackouts and flashbacks to moments involving Palmer that Callie would rather forget. Most people believe Palmer to be a pious reverend and just as much a victim as Hannah, but Callie knows how abusive and dangerous her father is. With Hannah’s life hanging in the balance, Callie welcomes the flashbacks and violent outpouring of words, hoping that her mental illness will become the little girl’s salvation.  But as Callie battles with her memories and begins to unravel the mystery of what her father did, the secrets she uncovers may change her life forever.
 
OBLIVION has a highly promising premise but a disappointing execution.The novel is entirely too long but the ending unfortunately abrupt, and the flashbacks are frustratingly repetitive and occur so often that they lose their effect and impede the flow of the story. However, OBLIVION does feature a fascinating and complex heroine, and the journey Callie undertakes to deal with her graphomania and redefine her sense of self is emotionally wrought and compelling. 

Reviewed by Sabrina Abballe on June 5, 2014

Oblivion
by Sasha Dawn