The Sunflower Forest by Torey Hayden

This book is one of the few fiction books that Hayden has written, most of her books are non-fiction and are about her life as an educational psychologist and the challenges she has had to face during that time. So, it was with some scepticism that I picked up this fiction book, however as I began to read I found this story just as haunting and profound as all the others.

All the previous books that I have read by Torey Hayden have been full of pain, sorrow, anger and betrayal often by the people we are supposed to be able to trust. At times the books made me cry and at times the books where hard to read but seeing the love and care Torey lavished on these children gave me a lovely warm feeling after reading them.

Even though this story was fiction it was no different to the previous stories I had read, although this time the damaged and hurt party was an adult not a child. The Sunflower Forest was so full of pain and hurt mixed in with a family trying to cope with their mothers mental illness. It illustrated that because of the hurt and betrayal that one person suffered can have a profound and damaging effect on the entire family.

The story doesn’t go into huge amounts of detail about what happened in this womans past but it shows enough for us to know that she is damaged beyond repair and no matter how much her family love her, it just might not be enough to save her from herself. This book is thoroughly thought-provoking and is hard to put down, I would recommend it to readers who love to read something a bit different to the norm.


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