When nine-year old William loses most of his family in a car accident, he is left alone with a religious zealot of a father. As a result of his father’s abuse, William blames himself for his family’s death and becomes convinced the devil is leading him astray. The backdrop of life in a rural town in the 1960’s sets the tumultuous scene as William struggles to cope in a world no child should have to face on his own. Will William be saved, or will he succumb to the devil within?
The Devil Within is the story of Will (William), who at the tender age of nine, is trying to come to terms with the loss of his mom, sister and brother. Not only is he having to come to terms with their loss he also has to try and deal with the physical and mental abuse that his father has started since their deaths.
Obviously none of us know how we would deal with the loss of loved ones but to have nearly all your family wiped out must be devastating. Will’s dad can’t comprehend the loss and you can see how much he is struggling with bringing Will up on his own. Even though I certainly don’t condone what he does to his son, there are moments that I did feel sorry for him for what he was going through and beating himself up about what he is doing to his son.
Will, I found to be quite a strong boy who has had to grow up very quickly. It makes him become a lot more grown up yet at times he is so vulnerable and I just wanted to reach into the book and hug him.
To be honest the first three quarters of the novel I found to be an okay read but wasn’t really gripped by it, but as the level of abuse that Will has to endure starts to really come to a head, I was an absolute emotional wreck. I really had to fight the tears that were forcing their way out from my eyes, and I well and truly lost.
I think the story really came to life at this point as it really started to hit home just what poor Will was going through and the uncertainty of his future. The ending for me was done really well and to be honest it actually felt at the end that I had just read a novel of non fiction than one of fiction.
The Devil Within was a bit of a late bloomer but in the end it really shone out and would certainly recommend reading it.
Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.
The Devil Within is available to purchase from Amazon.