- Author: Natalie Rodriguez
- Reading level: 13+ years
- Paperback: 316 pages
- Publisher: Natalie Rodriguez (12 June 2020)
If you don’t address the elephant in the room, you invite an unending series of problems.
Elephant by Natalie Rodriguez is an insane coming-of-age psychological suspense novel. It is a book that talks in good detail about the crucial subject of mental health. No, there are no lessons, no preach. Rather, there is a character that deals with the intricacies of his mind. A character that is grieving and battling with his own self while searching for his answers. It is a book that translates the emotions of friendship, fear, anxiety, guilt, and love to create a vivid image of the story.
Mental health is increasingly getting traction in society. People acknowledge it, people accept it though a complete acceptance is still far. There are movies discussing it, there is literature written on it, there is art created to illustrate it, there is a discourse, there is a validation granted to it. We talk about communicating, we talk about giving an audience to the one suffering from mental health but do we really talk about the elephant in the room? Of course, we don’t. Despite all the grandiose talks, we fail to see the problem because we are scared of the internalized notions regarding mental health.
Natalie’s book takes a young boy into account and develops an image of how a victim of bad mental health suffers in his life. Getting over nagging issues is not easy and we see its consequences as our protagonist Matt fails to calm himself. His story disturns the reader as he oscillates back and forth in his mind. His anxiety and panic attacks create knots in our stomachs. Something weird is happening in the story and simultaneously, our brains are getting haywire. Well, that was the intensity of ‘Elephant.’
The atmospheric novel crafted by Natalie has brilliant narration and a realistic narrative. While reading it, I did arrive at points when I was confused, dazed as to what is happening, triggered, cringed. I did take my breaks to process the events and continued to find my answers. The puzzle didn’t have too many missing pieces but the writing created that effect. And yes, my head spun with the heaviness of the plot. I felt uneasy to absorb the sombreness of Matt’s life that affected his loved ones. And yet, I persisted to be floored by a baffling climax.
In a nutshell, it indeed is an important book but demands time to be consumed well. Perhaps, a round of editing is what it needs to address the elephant in the room clearly.
MY RATING: 4/ 5
Buy your copy: Elephant