I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing.
When I’m reading a good novel, I become attached to theI received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing.
When I’m reading a good novel, I become attached to the characters. I’m always sad to reach the end because I always want to know what happened next. When I read Saving Abby last year, I wasn’t ready to let go of the Turner family. I wanted—no, I needed—to know how Josh managed to go on without Claire at his side… how he coped with raising their daughter alone… and wondering if he would ever be able to find love again. I wanted to know what came next in Josh’s life.
Those questions do get answered in Abby’s Journey, but this sequel isn’t focused on what came next for Josh. The spotlight falls on Abby this time around, concentrating on her European vacation with grandmother Millie, visiting Christmas markets.
I enjoyed reading about Abby, but… taking a winter vacation despite her medical condition? I had trouble accepting that Millie would be willing to risk it, after losing Claire.
Abby’s Journey wasn’t quite the sequel I’d hoped to read, but it was nice to be able to read about these characters again, and find out what came next in their lives. While I didn’t love the winter setting, I did understand why visiting the Christmas markets was so important to Abby, and why she longed to do other “normal” winter activities.
The way the book ends made me smile… I can’t say why in this review, but it was something I dreaded seeing the resolution of, but I need not have worried. That particular issue resolved itself in the most wonderful way, and is probably my favorite part of the book....more
Emily and Elizabeth Rooth have deep psychological scars due the horrific abuse they suffered as very young children. What could have been a tragedy beEmily and Elizabeth Rooth have deep psychological scars due the horrific abuse they suffered as very young children. What could have been a tragedy becomes a rescue, allowing the girls to escape their hellish existence in their mother’s home and be adopted by a loving couple. Some wounds never fully heal, however, and the girls are unable to let themselves trust their new parents—or anyone else—with their secrets and fears, depending only on each other and dealing with their emotional pain as best they can. At 18, Elizabeth is a college student sharing an apartment with a severely depressed, self-harming Emily, and spending most of her free time alone with her sister and keeping her in the dark about her boyfriend. When the truth is revealed, it kicks off a chain of events leading to Emily’s death and Elizabeth’s stay in a psychiatric hospital. In order to heal, she has to face the unbearable truths of her repressed memories, and learn how to finally let Emily go… if she can.
We’ve all read books at one time or another that don’t live up to the hype, but this book is most definitely NOT one of them. Phantom Limb is absolutely phenomenal, and I highly recommend it to fans of psychological thrillers. Finely crafted characters and an intricately woven plot culminated in an ending so unexpected, it took my breath away. This book was a pleasure to read, and earned Lucinda Berry a spot on my Author Radar....more
The narrative is told from multiple points of view—Alex Gardinier (referred to as Alexandra Hallow in the psych hospital, which is set in the present day), Caroline Gardinier (her sister), Lucia Belo (a nurse at the hospital), and Sandra Jackson (mother of a missing young woman). With so many different points of view, it could easily have become confusing, but each character's particular voice was easily recognizable to me. I felt it enhanced the book to be able to see all parts of the story through the eyes of the character 'living it', so to speak, as well as enhancing the sense of danger and/or urgency of recent or impending actions.
I don't want to give anything away about the story, so I'll just say this: Several events take place in each character's story where the tension is painfully intense. I found myself holding my breath or gasping out loud more than a few times as I was reading. And that's a very good thing when you're reading a psychological thriller!
Twardowski's debut is a well-crafted thrill ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat, leading to an anxiety-inducing finale that, for me, felt like the perfect resolution for one of the four women in particular. It has earned her a well-deserved spot on my author radar, as well... I'll be on the lookout for Kristen Twardowski's next novel. I'm envisioning great things from her in the future....more