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Safe House

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  44 reviews
True, home was their prison, but it was also their sanctuary.

In a small town on the Oregon Coast, Amber and Kelly know the deadliest people sleep down the hall. Why don't they just leave? Why don't they fight back? Amber knows, but she's not telling.

Grace James, an advocate, works with handsome Officer Joe Hart to help them find their way safely out of intimate partner vi
Paperback, 292 pages
Published July 11th 2017 by Bonneville
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  99 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
When this book was presented to me for review, I hesitated. I like the fluffy stuff. A good story that doesn't make me think too hard, that doesn't have uncomfortable subjects.

Safe House deals with domestic violence. Not even close to fluffy. I had to think about reading this one. I am glad that I picked it up. Shannon Symonds has taken on a tough issue and presented a story with intelligence and compassion. It is a good thing for me to read uncomfortable things to learn a little empathy and un
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars. The author does a great job of portraying the horrors of abuse. This is definitely a book that I would not normally pick up because of the subject matter, but the author wrote it well. Grace was a fantastic character, who truly wanted to help people. I felt there was too much jumping around between so many characters. That being said, it was interesting to see the POV of the abusers and the different types of abuse caused from drinking and viewing pornographic images but again, too ...more
Author Shannon Symonds brings to life the bitter and devastating truths of domestic violence in her novel Safe House. Her story is heart throbbing and gut wrenching. It hurts so much to read these truths, but powerful at the same time. It teaches readers of the hardships of the people in these situations and about how hard it can be to get out, but that it is possible. The story is a little hard to follow at first due to the way it switches between characters and their stories, but once that is ...more
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
I first have to say that I think the information and overall message of this book is so important. I haven't had a lot of experience with domestic violence and knowing there are so many women and children (and men) in the world suffering through this is heartbreaking. The author of this book works as a victim's advocate so her personal, first hand knowledge and experience go a long way in making this novel valid and real. And honestly? Thank goodness for Shannon and people like her to help, supp ...more
Renee Bowlay
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Safe House paints a poignant portrait of domestic violence centered in a close, coastal community. Multiple stories and perspectives weave together to showcase the ways abuse affects a victim along with their children, parents, other family members, neighbors, and the abusers themselves. The author's vivid, detailed writing style uses multi-sensory descriptions to transport the reader inside a character's physical and emotional experiences; for example, a climatic confrontation between victim an ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have to admit that reading books about abuse of any kind is very hard for me. I like to read books to escape reality and not read about it. Having said that, this book ended up being such a great book to read.

I loved this story. I am saying this will all love behind it. My sisters and I love these kinds of books. We call them "Mormon Smut Books"....hehe. I really do mean that as the best compliment. I love to read books that have to do with my religion and love. Or any religion for that matter
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I'm not quite sure what I expected from this book, but I didn't expect to be drawn in as fast as I was. This book is intense from the very first page until the very last page. I loved every minute I spent reading it!

I like the way this book has so many different view points. You get such a great picture of exactly what is happening. You even get viewpoints from the bad guys in this one. That really made the picture of everything going on so clear.

I'm not sure I can tell you just who the ma
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Met her at a book signing last November at the store I work in and had my copy of her book autographed. Excited to finally have a chance to read it.

INTENSE! Oh man, this whole book was just intense from the first chapter! I had a semi-difficult time keeping characters straight because it kept shifting gears to what was happening in about four different places, but it was SO well written and easy to read (and a little hard to read because of the abuse and heartache in the book). I appreciated the
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book was ok except for the switching of characters back and forth. It made it a little hard to read.
It was also a hard read because of the topic of the book but here again the author has done a wonderful job in writing this.
It's truly an emotional book and especially when children are involved it really makes me want to kick the man's pants and give him a taste of his own medicine!!! It's NOT ok to abuse people of any sort because they are different or maybe women. Each one of us has feeling
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Normally I struggle with getting absorbed in a book. But as busy as I was, I kept looking forward to picking this book up again. I truly cared about the characters and wanted to know if they were going to be okay. We don't talk about this topic enough. So glad I read this book! ...more
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really wanted to rate this book five stars, but the ending was a little weak.
Teresa Silva
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read, giveaways
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and was asked in return for an honest review...
When I first read the synopsis for this book online I liked it, so I entered the giveaway. It didn't say anything about it being about people who are of the Mormon faith, so when I started reading it I was a little surprised by how much it talked about the faith and the church. I'm a Catholic so I know nothing about Mormons or their faith, but the book seemed interesting... And both religions believe in God ri
Kim Melso
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
*I received this book from Goodreads giveaways* This is a really great book that dives into domestic abuse and everything that happens after. The story moves at a fast pace and kept me turning the page. I couldn't stop reading until I knew the abusers had lost. You really feel for the characters and it's sad to think how many people this story is reality for. The first half of the book was a bit choppy and jumped a round but by the end I could see how everyone was tied together. The message abou ...more
Beverly Sappenfield
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great! Fast moving and I could visualize it like a movie. I loved it. The first chapter grabbed me and it was hard to put it down and have , since reading it in its entirety, begun reading it out loud on a road trip. Besides being a great read, it is informative for women who need help in an abusive relationship. The storm was so real I felt cold in 97 degree weather. Am enjoying reading it second time.
Robyn Echols
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lds-fiction
This book was a mystery/thriller suitable for teens and adults. The author has worked as an advocate for victims of abuse and/or assault. She has taken her first-hand knowledge of what she had learned in real life to write fiction that is believable and reflects some the actual difficulties with which people can find themselves dealing.

At first I experienced anger directed not only at the abusers, but in the ineffectual response on the part of the victims. The author gently leads a reader to und
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I won this book through a GoodReads Giveaway and it was a great book regarding a topic I've never read before. I just wonder what happened to one of the fathers; that side of the story seemed unresolved and the description of the storm was a little bit overkill but I loved the characters and the story flowed nicely. I would definitely read this author again. ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Goodreads for another great win!
I loved this book, couldn't put it down!
The story of violences, domestic and sexual, that tear families apart and turn strangers into friends.
Grace James is an advocate serving domestic and sexual assault survivors. In a small coastal Oregon town, comprised mostly of Mormons, one would think her job would be pretty easy. Not so. In the midst of a middle-class, religious population there are below the surface abusers. And it is her job to bring them to ju
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Grace works with Domestic Sexual Assault Team in Necanicum, Oregon where she is helping Kelly with a controlling husband Sam, and Emily with her drinking and abusive husband Berk. Both men have started to go beyond being safe, but neither wife wants to, or has the means to leave their husband. Grace offers emotional shelter and means to find a way to leave.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I normally don’t read books that are based on such a heavy topic. The characters in this book dealt with domestic abuse and the effects of alcohol. At first I had a hard time keeping track of all the perspectives as it jumps around a lot, but eventually I figured it all out and really enjoyed that. The characters felt real and the storyline was believable.
Trent Caudle
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book had mystery and suspense and took me into what a survivors life is like through abuse. Not only could I see through the women's eyes but the children as well. My heart was lifted and I am excited to read another book by Shannon someday. ...more
Carlos Rodriquez
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Quite the interesting read. It brought back sad childhood memories of encountered physical and mental abuse by controlling men (and women in my adulthood). It happens more often than people are aware of or want to believe. I'm truly glad there are people and organizations willing to help. ...more
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
So well written and on a sensitive subject this book is extremely intriguing. Each page captured me and held my attention from the story of the abused to the story of those trying to rescue them. I have better understanding now and am so grateful the author shared this book.
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I stayed up WAY too late the past two nights reading this book. I had to know what happened with the families! My only issue is that Berk’s story is unfinished. I can assume what happened, but I want to know for sure. Other than that, it was a great book!
Amy K
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I randomly found this book on Amazon’s Kindle listings, and absolutely loved it! There were parts where I laughed, sighed with relief, held my breath, and cried. I hope this author continues with these characters, I grew attached to them. There was a religious thread that ran throughout, but I learned a lot and found it reassuring and comforting at all the right times.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I connected with this book. It reeled me in and kept me there with an intense and fast-moving plot. The emotional intensity was a unique aspect of this book for me. I had never read a book addressing domestic violence and abuse, and I found myself incapable of putting it down because I just couldn't leave these characters in the unjust and demoralizing circumstances.

In addition to the captivating and entertaining plot, Safe House was an educational experience. Part of what was both enthralling
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are so many things I like about this book. The story is compelling and sucked me in from the beginning, the characters are lovable and relatable, and I got to peek into the life of a domestic violence counselor and the battered women she helps. Ms. Symonds knows her topic and gives you real understanding for why these women stay in violent relationships and how hard it is for them to get out. I wasn't just entertained by the fictional story, I was educated. I highly recommend it. 4.5 stars ...more
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I opened this book not intending to read it, but as I got into the first chapter, I couldn't stop. It sucked me in and wouldn't let go. The author's passion for the issues laid out in the book shows through in the way she treats the victims' stories. I also loved the way members of the LDS Church are portrayed. ...more
Sara Eskelson
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just finished her book, and hope the story will continue. Grace, the main character, was inspiring and strong. The visualization of the writing made me picture each character, and the area where everything took place. This was a great read, and hope she writes another real life adventure.
Kristi Johnson-James
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one evening. Domestic abuse is a topic that was tackled with empathy. No longer will you say,"Why doesn't she just LEAVE?" ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Safe House is a great book that gives you a better understanding of domestic abuse. I laughed, cried, felt anger and joy while reading this book! I couldn't put it down, and I can't wait for more! ...more
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Shannon Symonds writes in an old house by the sea, where her 6 children, their children, and 30 or 40 of her closest relatives, and their dogs come and go constantly. She loves laughter, a good mystery, running on the beach, deep sea fishing, and bonfires. Her all-time favorite job at church was Girls Camp Activity Director. Shannon worked for over 20 years as an Advocate serving survivors of abus ...more

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