23561190The Spider in the Corner of the Room (The Project, #1) by Nikki Owen

I was recently fortunate enough to share a platform with Nikki Owen at the Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival. As well reading from our books, we both appeared on a panel discussion concerning writing about or with ‘difference’. I am a writer with aspergers, who’s characters are often similarly affected. Nikki’s Subject 375 is a woman – a doctor – with Aspergers convicted of killing a Catholic priest.

She’s also a former member of the sinister Project, and much of the book is made up of layers or dream, reality, and alternate-reality which leaves you grappling, just as Maria does, with the truth about who she really is and why she is in prison and in fear of her life from different government and non-governmental organisations.

The Spider in the Corner of the Room is the original title for what is now published as Subject 375. For me, the story really came alive when you discover the identity (and existence of) Subject 375. Things start to get clearer, and fast-paced. Not that the preceding novel doesn’t clevery illustrate what its like for someone with Aspergers to face being in prison (and life in general. In a world of Too Much Information (#AustismTMI) this really does work to show how different people see the world, and maybe realise the difference in all of us.