Jennifer's Reviews > Maternal Menace

Maternal Menace by Terri Ann Armstrong
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May 07, 2012

it was amazing
Read in November, 2011

Maternal Menace, book three in the Menace Trilogy, was a roller coaster of a ride. This book takes you back in time to Starleen and Teddy's childhood. My heart was breaking for these two little girls, with a busy working dad, and left at home with a psychotic mother. Nothing these girls do is ever right, or good enough. Pamela just can't be pleased. Verbal abuse, physical abuse...it's all there. The reality of this whole book is that there are children who are enduring this same life right now. This book is very real. David, their father, is completely blind as to what goes on in their home when he is at work. That is until one day when he makes it a point to come home early to see his girls and help Teddy with her homework and sees first hand Pamela's anger and wrath towards his daughters. He makes up his mind that this will be the end of their suffering and takes them to his parents house. Filing for a separation from Pamela in the hopes of protecting his little girls, the judge orders weekend and vacation visitation with Pamela. Big mistake...Pamela steps up her torture and abuse to new levels. Teddy, being the oldest, gets the brunt of her frustration but with the threat from Pamela that she will kill her, Starleen and her father she doesn't say anything to her father.
With Pamela locked away in a mental institute, David finds new love with their next door neighbor Gretta, and together they give the girls the kind of family and home life they always deserved...for a few years anyways. The writing of Pamela's psychosis is so real and descriptive it is scary. She can play a mean game of pretend, switching back and forth between insanity and reality. Also real are the struggles David, Gretta, and the girls go through as they try to become a new family together, learning to trust and love, as anyone coming into a family that has had their share of struggles can attest to.
Terri Ann Armstrong's writing is superb. Maternal Menace is full of suspense and heart stopping action. Add in a little murder and that "oh my" factor and you have the complete package. I guarantee you will have a hard time putting this one down. Not only is this a thrilling conclusion to this trilogy but also an excellent read as a stand alone novel and will having you hugging your babies just a little tighter at night. Oh and that last line will get you every time...
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