Dandelion Angel - A Novel by C.B. Calico

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“An illuminating portrait of the devastating lifelong effects of a mental illness.” (IndieReader)

In her Author's Note, debut novelist C.B. Calico reveals that Dandelion Angel was inspired by a non-fiction work, Understanding the Borderline Mother by Christine Ann Lawson. The four mother/daughter relationships in this Germany-set novel—all marked to some extent by dysfunction, physical and/or verbal abuse, and borderline personality disorder—are based on Lawson's metaphorical classifications: the hermit, the queen, the waif, and the witch. Looping back through her four storylines in three complete cycles, Calico shows how mental illness is rooted in childhood experiences and can go on to affect a whole family.

The title image comes from Mandy's story. She got the nickname 'Angel' from her next-door neighbour while she was growing up, and the dandelion is a perfect metaphor for how hope can spring out of unpromising circumstances: 'Through a crack in the terrace's concrete, a dandelion had grown. … She loved the dandelion and felt something like kinship. … now it was in full bloom, bright yellow and radiant. It was amazing. Awe-inspiring.' The same goes for these four interlocking stories about making a healthy life after an inauspicious beginning. (The BookBag, August 2015)

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