Thanks to my friend Mitsy for recommending this. She thought I'd like the psychology aspects: each chapter is a therapyFrom the Depths of Depravity...
Thanks to my friend Mitsy for recommending this. She thought I'd like the psychology aspects: each chapter is a therapy session. The therapy format is a vehicle for heroine Annie O'Sullivan to tell her horrifying story.
Annie is 32-year-old realtor living on Vancouver Island. She has a golden retriever, a boyfriend, a bitchy mom, and a stepdad. Neither Annie nor her mother have recovered from the deaths of her sister and father in a car accident years ago.
Annie's open house is about to end one day when a man arrives in a van to view the house. He seems friendly, but looks are deceiving. He abducts Annie and absconds with her to a remote cabin on a mountain. There her personal nightmare begins.
This guy brings new darkness to the word CREEP.
I don't want to give too much away, but this passage is particularly chilling:
It took him a second to give her to me, and as he passed her through the air a look crossed his face that I'd never seen before. He let go. For a heartbeat she was in the air, and then she dropped. I leapt forward and caught her just before she would have hit the floor. With my heart hammering my chest so hard it hurt, I clutched her against me. He smiled and got up to eat his dinner, humming a tune under his breath.
**Warning** A word of caution to potential readers: The abuse is vivid and visceral at times. He takes over her body and soul. If you're a survivor of any sort of sexual or physical trauma, you might find this triggering. Annie's suffering and psychological digging into her abuser's mind is so deep that I wasn't sure if I could keep reading the first third of the book.
But I'm glad I finished because the story ends up richer than I anticipated. It's ultimately a journey of healing and strength....more
Skylar and Josh are two new adults who grew up in Creek View, a desolate California desert town. They both had exit strategies for leaHeartbreak Hotel
Skylar and Josh are two new adults who grew up in Creek View, a desolate California desert town. They both had exit strategies for leaving behind poverty and dysfunction: Skylar plans to use her scholarship to attend art school, and Josh joined the Marines.
Too bad these plans get shot to hell. Newly graduated from high school, Sky has one summer left when her mother falls off the wagon and starts drinking again. Josh returns from Afghanistan short one leg. Their futures seem rather bleak.
But they both work at a small hotel, and in the middle of the desert, a friendship blooms. Can it grow into love?
What was happening to me? I'd become tidal, the current of my want pushing me toward him, pulling me away from him. Toward him, away from him.
The characterization is raw and real. Sky pours her creativity into kitchy collages. She longs for her deceased father, who loved Top Gun. I harbor a special fury for abusive or neglectful parents, and Sky's mother is despicable. Josh used to be cocky and popular, but now he's so aimless that he thinks about suicide. There is nothing easy or predictable about their pairing, either.
Then it was just breath and touching and his eyes never leaving mine and his voice whispering beautiful things I never would have believed a Mitchell could say. We laughed as we tried to figure out how to do this together.
"A one-legged Marine and a virgin walk into a bar," Josh whispered.
"You are NOT telling jokes about this," I said, laughing into his shoulder.
The writing is excellent. Creek View becomes a character of its own with the author's vivid descriptions:
The wind gusted through the palms and the fronds rubbed together like crumpled tissue paper. It carried the scent of manure and gasoline and the orchard behind the fence. It blew under the thin material of my dress, and I shivered when it slipped over my skin. I envied its reckless abandon, the way it touched without fear.
The fact that the author wrote this story partly to honor family members and others who have served in the military makes it all the more meaningful. I cried quite a few times. I love the themes of healing and resilience....more