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Book Review: "The Possession of Mr Cave" by Matt Haig

5/5 - Complex, dark and twisted...

By Annie KapurPublished about a year ago 3 min read

If you know, you know. I'm going through a difficult time at the moment. I'm up and down, I'm here and there, I'm sick and I'm not. But, I can assure you that I'm definitely trying with this content. Enough about me though, more about the book. Matt Haig is a great writer. Some people I have seen call The Midnight Library a really overrated book, but I thought it was written beautifully. This book we have here called The Possession of Mr Cave really hit me. It was not like anything by Matt Haig I had read before and I really liked it a lot.

Mr Cave has been through various tragedies including the death of his mother by suicide, the murder of his wife and the final destination style death of his son - he has one child left - a daughter called Bryony. As anyone who wants to protect anyone else, Mr Cave's protection of his daughter Bryony goes from being that of a loving father to that of a psychological abuser really fast. I'm not going to lie, even from the beginning I was worried for Bryony. I could understand the protection thing, but as it started to grow in size, I got really really worried. It makes you dread what might happen to Bryony because the person who is trying to protect her isn't just trying to protect her, he's trying to hide her from everything and everyone. He is so paranoid of losing her and yet, the only person he cares about in the equation is himself. He only cares about the fact that if he loses Bryony, he will have nothing and nobody left. He doesn't actually care about her safety for her sake. Gosh, it was just shocking.

“Cities try to shame us into action, as they know stillness is the preserve of the destitute, the dangerous, the dead.”

There is really a huge theme of action and inaction here - the fact that inaction can cause death and that the wrong action can also cause death. It is something that Mr Cave (Terence) fears with all of his might when it comes to Bryony and you can feel the fear eminating off her as well. I think it's a real shame that he let it get this far. But you cannot help but feel sorry for both of them - he who has lost almost everything and everyone and she who is now the victim of the whole grief vs. anger thing that is happening to him as he takes his revenge on life and death by not letting his daughter have either.

“It was a scene from before civilisation, or after it, beyond the apocalypse. A ceremony of victory, or initiation, or sacrifice.”

The idea of time and death is also huge in this book. The idea of time passing and eventually, the inevitable will have to happen is almost a disbelief for both of them. He cannot seem to come to terms with the fact that the only way for Bryony to be happy is to live. But he won't let her for his own sake, his own emotions, his own sense of loneliness and grief. He cannot see past that and there is a possibility she may die hating her life. But he doesn't care about that.

In conclusion, this was a seriously expansive book though it was short. There was a lot to analyse and as I read it I realised that this was very different book to the books I normally read by Matt Haig. It feels much much darker.


About the Creator

Annie Kapur

Film and Writing (M.A)

150K+ Reads on Vocal

IG: @AnnieApproximately

Pronouns: (she/her/hers)

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