My Sore Hush-a-Bye


Read the first Chapter HERE                                                                           


Camille is a young girl stuck in the past.

Classic TV shows, old music, and dresses that never made it into the 21st century.After her mother left a puzzling note leaving her in the care of Uncle Bob, she had a rough go of it, not wanting to conform to his rigorous rules and this new life. But she learned. She learned to love and accept her sheltered life. For 8 years, Mama Cass’ songs and reruns of I Love Lucy and other old TV shows were her only comfort, and Uncle Bob her only companion.

That all starts to change when Camille finally goes to public school once she reaches her teenage years. She meets a friend who mysteriously disappears. She has suspicions that Uncle Bob may not be the perfect man she once thought. She starts thinking about her mother.

Most important of all, she begins to grow up, and that is what changes everything…

Release: November, 2012

Read all reviews on Goodreads and on Amazon:

Martha Bryce‘s review

Oct 14, 12
5 of 5 stars false
Read in September, 2012
Renata Barcelos is an amazingly talented writer. In her work like Mean and My Sore Hush-A-Bye, she peels the layers from topics that most writers are loathe to explore. She explores topics of dysfunctional families, abuse,and psychopathology relentlessly. My Sore Hush-A-Bye is her new novel, one which takes a close look at Camille, a sheltered young woman who has lived with her Uncle Bob for around ten years – since her mother abandoned her into Bob’s care. Uncle Bob chose to home school Camille and has taught her well. However, Camille has been caught in a time warp at Uncle Bob’s, immersing herself in the movies, TV shows and music of another generation. The music of Mama Cass Elliott of the Mamas and Papas has helped Camille deal with the loneliness of her life. Oddly enough, after all of the years being sheltered and isolated in Uncle Bob’s world, Uncle Bob’s feelings about her start to change. She feels abandoned by him, in an echo of the earlier abandonment of her mother. Uncle Bob sends her to the local public high school for her senior year. There she feels more like an outsider – she understands nothing of the language of kids her age. One girl does befriend her – though not publicly at Camille’s request. When her new friend disappears, Camille is horrified and worried – worried that her friend’s disappearance may have something to do with Uncle Bob and her. The only negative about My Sore Hush-A-Bye is that it’s a lot like a mini Snickers bar; it tastes wonderful but leaves me yearning for more.

Charlotte‘s review

Oct 22, 12
4 of 5 stars false
Read on October 22, 2012
What I loved the most about this was the way it was written, you truly felt as if you were seeing into this confused girl’s mind. As the story has such tender and complicated issues, it has to be portrayed delicately and sensitively, and I think Renata did exactly that. It was an excellent read, which did make me cry at the end, and it truly stays with you after reading it, and I think that’s important in a book. You have to be able to almost live what the character goes through. The only reason why I didn’t give this the full 5 stars was because of some of the switching between tenses got a little confusing, but apart from that, a very thought provoking read.
Chasity Brewer gave it 5 bats on her amazing blog, Batty For Books!
‘My Sore Hush- A -Bye’ is one of those books I could read in one sitting, if I had the time of course. Real life is really getting in the way of my reading habits, so it took me a little bit longer to finish. However, this is such an amazing book.Renata really has rare writing talents. The story made me cry. I loved that it was told from the girl’s point of view so that you could really see how everything affected her. You could really grasp just how deeply she was victimized, how she couldn’t even like a normal human being because of the things that had been done to her. Almost like Stockholm’s syndrome but until the end, she didn’t know she was the victim. It was such a sad story. But unfortunately things like this happen more often than we’d like. This book gives us insight into the damage it causes in the victim’s mind.

Hopefully Camille’s story can help other people to move on after experiencing traumatic experience. They can recover and be okay. I hope that this book really opens people’s eyes to see what really is going on outside and to pay attention to the signs. There are so many children out there that need help and don’t get it because people do not know what to look for.

I think Renata does amazing work. Her writing is just phenomenal and I think she is just a great person. Her writing goes much deeper than just writing the book. She has a much bigger purpose for why she writes the stories. ‘My Sore Hush- A- Bye’ is a book that you absolutely have to read. It will just blow your mind and make you really think about this world. So please take the time and check this book out and discover more about this author. It means a lot to me. I know I don’t normally say that, but this one definitely hit home.

5.0 out of 5 stars An Absorbing, if Harrowing, Read. 16 Nov 2012

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
I am a seventy-five year old man, reasonably well educated and psychologically sound. For the past few evenings I have been inhabiting the mind of a socially inept teen-age girl. This should have been an alien landscape for me, a place where I would have expected to be bemused, awkward, perhaps even uncomfortable. I have just finished Renata Barcelos’s new book, ‘My Sore Hush-a-Bye’ and, thanks to the writing skills of Ms. Barcelos, I found the experience fascinating.This is a book that can be read on several levels. The writing, simple, direct, fast-paced, is cleverly pitched throughout to represent the internal musings of a young girl. On the surface, the naive, unsophisticated retrospections of this simple black girl are mundane in their very ordinariness. But lurking below the simple tale of Camille’s life with Uncle Bob is a burgeoning foreboding that is never explicit but hurtles inevitably towards an unspeakable truth. Such is the writer’s skill that, despite the fact that we are seeing the victim’s existence through her own rose-tinted viewpoint, the reader remains in constant dread that explicit and unsavoury details must inevitably present themselves. There are places in the book where I would rather not have continued reading for fear of what might transpire but throughout Barcelos relies solely, and with great effect, on the power of suggestion.


Subtle though the clues are, however, it does not take the reader long to divine Uncle Bob’s character and to realise that all his kindnesses are simply part of the pervert’s ‘grooming’ process.

Despite the artful simplicity of the writing, My Sore Hush-a-Bye can also be read as a serious examination of the Stockholm Syndrome. This syndrome refers to a group of psychological symptoms that occur in hostage victims, the most common of which is the victim’s adaptation to the perspectives and behaviours of the captor, usually resulting in an emotional dependence when the captor shows any kindness. Close reading of My Sore Hush-a-Bye reveals many of these unconscious behaviours in Camille who comes to believe that Uncle Bob is the only person in the world she can trust and love.

The reader begins to fear for Camille’s safety when it becomes obvious that she has “grown too old” for her paedophile captor. What awful fate does he have in mind for her, especially when he finds a ‘new love’? This ratchets up the tension and readers will find themselves racing through the rest of the book seeking, hoping for, an outcome different from the tragic end that so often occurs in such situations in real life.

This is not my normal choice of reading material but in the safe hands of Renata Barcellos it is an absorbing, if harrowing, read. I can safely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good read and is willing to move away from their customary genre.


One response to “My Sore Hush-a-Bye

  1. Pingback: Spotlight on Yvvette Edwards – Interview with Author of ‘A Cupboard Full of Coats’ | Renata F. Barcelos' fiction

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