Critically, the Mystery bookends: murder at opening, closed at ending. Nothing in between. However, Harris's thoroughly great characterisation of Lily...moreCritically, the Mystery bookends: murder at opening, closed at ending. Nothing in between. However, Harris's thoroughly great characterisation of Lily Bard, artfully demonstrating the effects of a traumatic past - her bloody and brutal gang rape - on her present. How she was able to leave her family and move to a town where she could start afresh, no one knowing her history and treating her differently because of it. Her bravery, difficulties with PTSD, and her determination to never be found vulnerable to attack again by learning self-defense / martial arts. Dealing with the challenges in Shakespeare's Landlord made me respect Lily as a person and as a survivor of horrific circumstances that most would struggle to overcome in order to return to some semblance of normality.
That being said, I don't think I'll be continuing with this series as I've read a few reviews and found there's a love triangle - I'm not going there, sorry.(less)
A Secret Rage made for an uneasy listening experience, not just because of the graphic rape and its aftermath, but the misguided anti-racism and the s...moreA Secret Rage made for an uneasy listening experience, not just because of the graphic rape and its aftermath, but the misguided anti-racism and the shaky writing, had I been reading, may have resulted in a DNF.
Narrator Johanna Parker made Nickie's fear and horror so convincing I struggled to remain calm and continue listening. The rapes and the effect it has on its victims and the Southern community were well done, though you really can't definitively tell someone's skin colour from their voice despite Nickie and Barbara's assertion that you can, marking their rapist as white and not an N-word - that word used a couple of times.
Well, that's yet another of Charlaine Harris's protagonists to be unhappy and abused along with Sookie, Harper and Lily although this time she was an NYC model returning to the South and going back to college whereas the others tried to blend into the background whenever possible.
A Secret Rage doesn't possess all of the telltale qualities of a typical Harris novel, but as I understand it, this is one of the first books she'd ever written.(less)