The Packing House by G Donald Cribbs is a powerful and emotive debut

G. Donald Cribbs has written and published poetry and short stories since high school. The author is hard at work on his next book, tentatively titled, Unpacking the Past, the sequel to his debut novel, The Packing House , by Cherish Editions. Donald is a graduate of Messiah College in English and Education, and has a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counselling. He is also a licensed professional counsellor (LPC). He and his wife and four boys reside in central Pennsylvania. Having lived and travelled abroad in England, France, Belgium, Germany, China and Thailand (you can guess where he lived and where he visited), the author loves languages and how they connect us all. Coffee and Nutella are a close second.

When 16-year-old Joel Scrivener has a raging nightmare in study hall and someone records it on their phone, he awakens to a living nightmare where everyone knows his secret, one that he’s suppressed for ten years. Reeling as the whole school finds out the truth, Joel takes to the woods, leaving the bullies and his broken home behind.

However, life as a runaway isn’t easy, as Joel’s hallucinations and nightmares follow him into the wilderness. To stop them once and for all, he pieces clues together with flashes of the images that play endlessly inside his head – will he figure out the identity of the person who caused his nightmare before it’s too late?

The Packing House is a stunning debut novel that is powerful and emotive .When we meet Joel he’s on the surface your typical normal angsty teen. But as the layers get peeled back on just who he is, you realise there is so much more to him then is first apparent.

The book does contain some themes that could potentially trigger some readers, such as sexual assault so care should be taken if those topics are not something you are comfortable with. Although dealt with in a sensitive way it highlights the secrecy behind abuse and could potentially be a book that those in similar situations as the protagonist relate to. While The Packing House is very much a a fictional story but it deals with very real trauma and at times it does make uncomfortable reading. But it’s an important novel as it breaks the taboo and shines a light on Childhood sexual abuse and the affects it has on their victims.

You can get a copy here!

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