Free To Be Tegan
‘You are dead to us’
Tegan, aged twenty seven, is cast out of the cult, rejected by her family and the only life she has known. She is vulnerable and naïve but she also has courage and the will to survive. She travels to Wales, to previously unknown relations in the wild Cambrian Mountains.
This is the uplifting story of her journey to find herself and flourish in a world she has been taught to fear and abhor.
Guilt and shadows from her past haunt her in flashbacks, panic attacks and a fear of the dark. However she also finds a world full of colour, love and happiness she has never known before. The wild beauty of the hills, the people she meets and the secrets slowly revealed by the cottage all provide an intriguing backdrop to Tegan’s drama.
I think the strength of this debut by Mary Grand is her ability to create locations with a very visual presence in this book of words. The settings of inner city London and rural villages in Wales are superb and take the reader on a very real journey.
Secondly it is obvious that the author has put a lot of effort into researching the psychology and influence of cults and the difficult road to recovery for those who have left or been ejected from these type of communities.
A love story, a heroic story of one woman’s road to recovery from the influence of a controlling and destructive cult, this work of fiction has almost the feel of biography. My only criticism is that the recovery phase of the book seemed a little too short for what I imagine is an ongoing process.