A semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story exploring a fractured personality through the author’s inspired alter egos, Toxic Nursery is a dark humour parody of the main protagonist’s/Carlie’s deranged journey for inclusion and struggle with accepting herself. Her characters frequently “internalise” into the Mindscape, a protective creation of the protagonist’s imagination. They then “externalise” into the real world using the “physical vessel”. There’s angry Alicia, who is furious at how poorly she and others are treated, feminine Honeysuckle who strives for attention and acceptance, Morgana the kind mother figure and spiritualist, Estella the assertive and confident ego alter, and Serena the studious and serene. Each personality dominates or splits as the situation demands.
I read Toxic Nursery as a personal true account of the author’s past, written figuratively. The writing was captivating, flawless, and poetic; and the events flowed logically. The first hundred pages were exceptionally crafted glimpses into fragmented personality, and the dark humour had me in fits of deranged laughter. The author battles through hell to understand herself, and when some light is shed on her predicament, she must keep it together and succeed without lapsing toward self-loathing and self-destructiveness. It is an effortless read that made me flick through pages rapidly to know what would happen next. I understood and empathised with much of the protagonist’s point-of-view, and respect the author; not only for her struggle, but her bravery in reaching out with Toxic Nursery and by splashing it with hilarious comedy without reverting to sentimentalism.
Criticism: There was an abundance of adjectives, mainly in the opening chapter.
Don’t hesitate with Toxic Nursery, read it! It’s original, fresh, horrific, and inappropriate. The sentences have that rare impact and depth, and it really puts reality into perspective.