Book Review: Creepy and Maud by Dianne Touchell

By Monica Welsh

People don’t have reasons. We think we do, but we don’t. How many times have I sat in class watching a teacher ask someone why they’ve done something? As if cracking that one mystery will change something, or everything. The problem lies in the assumption of a reason in the first place. Even if they come up with a reason, it’s a lie. But that’s okay, because the lie is accepted and everyone can get on with things under the auspices of mutual delusion.

Creepy dedicates his life to watching the girl who lives next door, their bedroom windows the only connection to one another.  He calls her Maud and is gradually exposed to the darker side of her life, her secrets, her desires, her obsessions. Both are lost, isolated, too advanced for their peers but too ‘different’ from the rest of the world. Their differences allow them to relate and share a highly unusual kind of friendship.

creepy and maud

Touchell is a genius, creating a character that is so highly perceptive and insightful that then allows for an entire novel to be written about a girl that is only seen through the wooden frames of the bedroom window. Bit by bit we are able to explore the details of both Maud and Creepy, and I found myself developing an acute sense of fondness for Creepy’s protective and loving nature despite his often invasive actions. Both characters are complex and fascinating and you cannot help but find yourself desperate to know more about them.

Never is this novel boring or predictable, with miscommunications and unforseen events breaking the underlying routines of the characters and aiding in the development and flow of the plot. There are times where the story is told through Maud’s perspective and though such is necessary, it can be somewhat confusing when the exchange between the two perspectives occurs and the reader is left unsure as to who is narrating.

Creepy and Maud is unlike anything I have ever read, and is the perfect balance of dark themes, relationships, love and humour. Purchase this if only just to witness Creepy’s thoughts on the world: “Conformity is invisibility. Doesn’t Maud realise that? If she conforms, she will become invisible. Too small to see. She is shrinking already.”

Monica @ frangipani princess xoxo

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