Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Chameleon Room


In her novel, The Chameleon Room, author Kerry Hadley tells the story of three young people living together in England who feel the effects of a mysterious past on their current lives.

The narrator relates the story of life with her lover Angelo and her emotionally tortured friend Kary. The three grew up together in Devon, England, and were raised by a mysterious woman known as the Doctor. The main conflict of the story revolves around Kary, a young woman with severe mental health problems. Kary becomes obsessed with her married boyfriend Clive and develops an intense and dangerous desire to become pregnant.

Kary’s disturbing actions cause the Narrator to reflect on their childhood in order to discover how the three came to be together. As the story unfolds, dark and disturbing secrets are uncovered, revealing a number of themes that include: the relentless need to be loved, love, obsession, moral and ethical dilemmas regarding reproduction, loss, and death.

The Chameleon Room deals with dark revelations of childhood that shaped the Narrator, Angelo, and Kary. The writing is rich in symbolism and imagery. The story is an intense and dark look at characters who struggle to face their internal demons.

Structurally, I found myself going back to reread the first few pages of the beginning of the book to get a complete understanding of the ending. It may have been helpful to shorten the foreshadowing at the beginning and expand the ending.

The Chameleon Room is a well written dark drama that exposes many issues of human morality. With its many surprises, the plot of unraveling the three characters childhood secrets will keep readers engaged from start to end. It is highly recommended to readers who enjoy compelling stories of human frailty.

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