A more in-depth list of content warnings in the novel.
The extended descriptions for all content warnings are put under dropdowns so you can browse more conveniently. The novel contains a lot of material that could be triggering depending on the reader’s situation and experience, and we understand full well the importance of being able to curate your own experience, and to ascertain whether or not this novel is for you.
These warnings naturally contain some spoilers in the dropdowns, so if you don’t need or want content warnings, feel free to ignore this page. It is a resource that can be used as required.
Mental Health: Depression
Depression features heavily in the novel, as experienced by the protagonist and the deuteragonist.
Mental Health: Psychosis
As the novel progresses, the psychotic symptoms experienced by the protagonist (namely, auditory and visual hallucinations, disordered thinking, paranoia, derealisation) increase in severity, affecting the presentation of words on the page, and the chronology of certain scenes.
Mental Health: Suicide & Death
The deuteragonist is suicidal from the start of the novel, having recently attempted to kill herself. The theme of suicidal ideation is heavily present throughout the novel from both the protagonist and the deuteragonist. Later on in the book there is a graphic description of suicide. No characters technically die during the course of the novel. The deuteragonist’s father is mentioned to have died years ago, and this death plays a part in the deuteragonist’s current suicidal ideation and depression.
An older character grooms the protagonist for much of the plot, using gaslighting tactics such as trivialising, deflection, love bombing, and distorting reality.
Sexual abuse is a major theme in the novel; in the first half it is referenced vaguely through incoherent dreams and flashbacks, the latter half (particularly Chapter 15: The Violence of Truth) features an explicit series of flashback scenes.
Concomitant with all instances of the above-mentioned sexual abuse. There is also some physical abuse meted out towards the perpetrator nearer the end.
Catholicism features heavily in the novel. It is present from the second chapter and retains a strong presence throughout. A Catholic youth group in a university environment is a frequent part of the narrative. Eucharistic matters and orders of mass are discussed in depth, and towards the end a church service is described in detail. The perpetrator of the abuse mentioned in the sections above is religious, although not ordained.
Abuse: Gay trauma specific warnings
The protagonist is gay, and experiences abuse at the hands of another man. There is an age gap of ~20 years involved. The protagonist identifies as gay prior to abuse and afterwards. The perpetrator does not explicitly identify as gay, but is clearly repressed.
The protagonist’s love interest (a fellow gay student) has some internalised homophobia due to his religion (catholic), which is referred to only once, in a scene where he worries that he is being punished by a higher power.
Tabletop RPG segment: Loss of player agency
During the tabletop RPG game the main friends play together, one of the campaign’s storylines involves the protagonist’s character being kidnapped and held hostage. This is a huge loss of agency that has an effect on the protagonist in the real world.