Julia's Reviews > Strange Fits of Passion

Strange Fits of Passion by Anita Shreve
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's review
Jul 15, 2011

liked it

As you can tell, I'm a huge Anita Shreve fan. She is one of the most talented authors I've ever read and consistently enjoyed.
In Strange Fits of Passion, a woman flees an abusive relationship with her infant daughter in tow. The pair ends up in northern Maine but it's clear from the beginning that the estranged husband finds them and the conclusion is not pretty.
The format of this book made it very unique. The story unfolds through letters from the battered (now imprisoned) woman to a journalist whom she hopes will do her story justice. Her letters are interspersed with letters or interviews from friends and witnesses who provide alternate perspective.
The story is set in the early 1970's adding depth and controversy where there would be little in present times. Domestic abuse wasn't clearly understood back then, so it didn't necessarily stand up as a defense in court. It was generally accepted that a man couldn't rape his wife and the psychological harm was certainly not understood.

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