Fremantle Press (2012)
Reviewed by Tehani Wessely
What a deep, darkly fascinating debut novel from Dianne Touchell! Combining quality writing with an absorbing dual narration, Touchell has produced an astonishing story of outcasts, suburbia and what it can mean to be different.
Creepy (not his real name) and Maud (not her real name) are neighbours. Both live in dysfunctional, often abusive, households. Both are social outcasts at school. They have never spoken to each other but Creepy is in love with Maud and one day starts writing messages to her through his bedroom window. In fits and starts, the two begin to get to know each other in one of the most unusual love stories, and stories of acceptance, that you will ever read.
Creepy and Maud is not an easy read in terms of subject matter. Some parts of the story will (and should) disturb the reader, but the gradual unfolding of the characters is worth the more harrowing aspects, which in themselves are important issues for readers to consider.
I highly recommend Creepy and Maud for middle to upper secondary readers and adults. An uncomfortable and completely compelling book!