Wickfields was the name of an institution that housed children deemed too dangerous to live in regular society.
Beyond the Spiral Gates is a raw coming-of-age odyssey, a first-hand account of one boy’s experiences at the archaic Wickfields School for Criminal Children. From the idyllic sun-drenched fields of Hayvern to the shadowy hallways of Wickfields, the story delves deep into the epicentre of the human psyche. Starting in the present day with the protagonist as an elderly man and chronic insomniac who struggles to come to terms with his own mortality as he confronts the demons of his youth spent at Wickfields, the story spins us back through the years to where it all began. It’s a tale of self-exploration, a redemptive narrative as well as a harrowing love story that does not spare raw emotion as the protagonist grapples with the trauma of the events that shaped that period of his adolescent life. Beyond The Spiral Gates is a gut-wrenching account of one boy’s journey of self-discovery, told in an unflinching and engaging voice.
Beyond the Spiral Gates is a profoundly moving, remarkable and intriguing novel that compelled me to read for hours on ends thanks to the unique nature of the story and captivating writing courtesy of the excellent author Mutch Katsonga. Already I would have to recommend Beyond the Spiral Gates for readers; especially to those that adore contemporary pieces of fiction with moving, sometimes profound and shocking themes as Beyond the Spiral Gates encompasses all of these things but it is still an exceptional novel that is not to be missed.
Beyond the Spiral Gates is a unique novel that is narrated by the protagonist of the book. The protagonist narrates his story as an old man as he looks back on his life and all that happened; the good but mostly the bad. The narrator was housed in an institution known only as Wickfield, which is a home/school which homed and taught criminal children… children who were thought to be too dangerous for society. What happened at Wickfield is disturbing as well as shocking which takes a poignant look at crime, violence, and abuse… all crucial themes that need to be learned about in order to bring about change.
The story of Beyond the Spiral Gates is one that floored me, the unique premise of the novel as well as the dark, looming institution known only as Wickfield was fascinating to read about. What made it so exciting as the reader has to delve into the novel to have their questions answered and when the reader does dive into the depths of the novel some will be answered and the answers are shocking as well as gripping.
The themes explored in Beyond the Spiral Gates are themes that could be considered as deeply upsetting thanks to the violence, abuse and crime explored. If this novel was not defined as contemporary fiction, it could easily be defined as crime/mystery as some of the scenes which explore violence are profoundly upsetting and even hard to read. Beyond the Spiral Gates most certainly is not for the faint-hearted but I would not let this scare you away as all themes explored are poignant and need to be read about.
There is one theme in particular in this book which struck me. It was a theme of not everyone who has committed a crime is bad; for example, some people have murdered in self-defense, some women have killed their abusers in order to escape/free themselves from their abusers. Does this make the human in question evil or somebody surviving, doing what they have to do? Themes such as this are explored within Beyond the Spiral Gates and it makes for exceptional reading.
Mutch Katsonga is the author of Beyond the Spiral Gates; his brutalistic prose combined with his flawless talent to grasp a reader, even in shocking moments is the most laborious achievement but Katsonga accomplishes this with ease and this screams what a talent he is. One quality I loved about Katsonga’s writing was his ability to not shy away from troubling topics, in other words, Katsonga’s writing is brazen, bold and not to be missed. As Beyond the Spiral Gates is an excellent book that will have no trouble captivating readers, I would recommend this book for everybody and would award it a sensational Five Stars.
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