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Group Read Discussions > Nov/ Dec 2013 Group Read - Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

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message 1: by Bill, Co-Moderator (new)

Bill | 5389 comments Mod
Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes was nominated by Matt and is one of the two books chosen for the Nov/ Dec Group Read. Enjoy the discussions.

message 2: by Matt (new)

Matt | 16 comments I’m so happy that Into the Darkest Corner was selected as one of the books to read this period. This is my first time moderating a discussion here on GoodReads, so bear with me.

I read this earlier in the year and found it very hard to put down once it got going. Let me start by saying that if you’re like me, and don’t pay attention to the chapter titles, this book alternates its chapters between the present and the past. I found this to be a little confusing at the beginning as the first four chapters are four completely different periods in time. Starting with the third chapter, it then alternates between the present and the past pretty consistently. I will also give a warning (not a spoiler) for those who care that there are some sexual activities in this book that get somewhat graphic at times.

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys this book as much as I did as there have been very few books that have kept me on the edge of my seat as this one did!

message 3: by Lynsey (new)

Lynsey | 20 comments I read this book in a very short timeframe as I was literally unable to put it down. The way suspense is created is amazing and Haynes carries you along like a freight train!! I felt that the OCD sections of the book, where cathy passes her house to check her curtains and ensures cutlery is in the right space Etc were so well evoked and so powerful. The sense of utter turmoil she is feeling is very clear to the point of quite uncomfortable at times.

As the relationship with lee develops the sense of foreboding and menace become palpable. This is incredibly skilful writing and her characters are very well developed! At times in the novel, against all my better judgement, you find yourself drawn into lees web of lies and hearing her friends explanations I did wonder once or twice whether she would be revealed to have mental issues and have imagined some of this. That both disturbed and impressed me as I have experience of similar situations (not myself personally) and I KNOW that these people can be very plausible but manipulative. It is testament to the writing skill within this book that I was in almost as much turmoil as this character.

Cathy's helplessness near the end of the novel, when her very valid fears are dismissed by everyone, professionals and personal relationships alike, is heart wrenching! But for me, the most distressing moment in the whole book was at the airport - did anyone else find this the most cruel??

message 4: by Lynsey (new)

Lynsey | 20 comments Can you see similarities between Catherine and cathy?? Or is cathy a product of lee's abuse?

message 5: by June (new)

June (juneedelsonnj) | 105 comments I have this book on my TBR pile and will pull it out tonight since I just read all the reviews! Hope I'm not sorry, it sounds like the stuff that gives one anxiety and nightmares! Just in case, I'm ready with Xanax! LOL. Will return with updates !!

message 6: by Ann (new)

Ann | 151 comments Sounds great! Well done Matt. Congrats are in order! Thanks for the recommendation. It's now in my short stack of to-read next books.

message 7: by Alana (new)

Alana Burks Thanks for the recommendation...just downloaded!!

message 8: by Margaret (last edited Nov 27, 2013 12:04PM) (new)

Margaret | 5 comments This is an engaging read, good for an airplane ride or vacation. I didn't care for the 2003-2004 sections very much... the older I get the more detailed cruelty and violence bothers me (side effect of being a mother maybe?), so I skimmed those sections. Also I find bad guys rather boring... it's so much harder to be sincerely good and helpful and kind that I enjoyed the characters who were part of Cathy's healing process most. I also enjoyed the discussion of ptsd and how it interacts with ocd even though I could have done with a bit less of first hand step by step checking.

message 9: by Madonna (new)

Madonna | 5 comments I read this quickly--couldn't wait for what happened next. I enjoyed this read, although at first I thought I'd be distracted and "lost" with the time shifts, but I found that I wasn't bothered by them.
I found, though, that I began to skim the violent parts more as I headed to the end--maybe too much in the book? I don't know why.
I did wonder about Cathy as a narrator. With her problems, could she be trusted to tell the story?

message 10: by Lynsey (new)

Lynsey | 20 comments I think the fact that people question cathy as a narrator shows just how powerful these abusers are! I did it myself and then felt like I had betrayed her- powerful stuff

message 11: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 16 comments Thanks for the hint to read the chapter titles. Just started the read and it is a quick read. I do get a little weary of the checking and rechecking. It slows the story quite a bit but I feel very sorry for Cathy too. Does it add to the anxious feeling reading it over and over again?
What does everyone else think?

message 12: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 64 comments I thought this book was hard to read and hard to put down. I agree that the checking and rechecking was annoying at first. However, as the story progressed, and the reasons became apparent, I almost wanted her to check more!

I agree - the airport scene was distressing!

message 13: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 16 comments Just finished the book. The violent parts were a little over the top. Also some of the club scenes were a bit far fetched.

I thought the progression to disbelief of her friends was plausible but wondered if she would really be a s high functioning as she was with the OCD and no one at work know her issue with her being late. I kinda also thought her taking all sorts of different ways home and walking for miles outside after dark was a little odd given she had such a fear of public places and Lee. I would have thought she would run to work and home as quickly as possible if she ever made it out of her apartment at all!

I think the club scenes made me a touch unsympathetic with the main character at first but her recovery and show of strength against adversity kept me turning the pages.

I kept wanting to say - You Go Girl! Would recommend with a warning about how graphic it is. Although, I think the circumstances and the nature of the abuse supported the degradation and sense of hopelessness in 2004.

message 14: by Laura (new)

Laura | 1 comments I just finished reading this book! I got through it in three or four days which is a record for me since I have 1 1/2 yr old twins and am working! I LOVED this book for the simple fact that it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time and the subject of being stalked, abused and basically ruined by a seemingly normal person were completely factual! You could tell the author did her homework so to speak on the affects that a stalker and psychotic person can have on those around them. Her description of OCD and the burden it can have on a person were incredibly accurate! I could go on and on, but I truly enjoyed this book and am adding to some of my very favorite thrillers of all time!

message 15: by Alana (new)

Alana Burks Started today and I love it! Took me a moment to follow the time frames and characters....this one has me captivated!

message 16: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (sharon_alexandr) This book was intense! I had a hard time putting it down and when I wasn't reading it, I was definitely thinking about it.

I was actually worried that it (view spoiler)

The checking and rechecking didn't really annoy me. I felt sad for her. She went from a carefree and fun person to someone who can't even go out in to crowded places. And the airport scene - I was holding my breath!

This author is definitely someone I will be checking out for future reads.

message 17: by Alana (new)

Alana Burks This book had me captured...was hard to put down!! I definitely want to read more of this author.

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 1186 comments Apologies to those who loved this book.

I hated it, because I absolutely despised Cathy. She doesn't deserve what happened to her, but I knew girls like her in real life. They are too stupid to live.

Although the writing was very good and the scenario realistic if Cathy was 19 years old and brainless, she wasn't. She was an educated Human Resources employee, and her job was responsible for judging character and credentials.

If Cathy had in fact been young and brainless I still would have despised her, but I would have believed in the plot. Since she was not a witless naive school dropout, I didn't believe in the story.

When I was 19, I and my single girlfriends of the same age also went to bars, taverns and clubs. I was careful, and usually had two drinks, with a glass of water between. But I saw things exactly as described by Cathy, and worse, while she was drinking herself under the table and rolling around in her own vomit. I saw some of my friends drunkenly leer at me while climbing into a 30ish stranger's car, almost falling as they bent to get in. I also saw such girls get raped, beaten and robbed. I patted the hand of a girlfriend crying because she was pregnant and had no idea of who the father was, since she so frequently had sex while drunk out of her head, and admitted she didn't always remember to take her pill. She enjoyed drinking and she liked good looking men, and she really liked getting free drinks, offered by the men. She did not like being pregnant, and later had an abortion. It did not stop her from more partying, or inviting some of these fellows back to her apartment, which she shared with me. I moved out as soon as I could after one of them climbed into my bed in the middle of the night (fortunately he was too drunk to maneuver), and a week after another invitee stole everything in my roommate's purse where she had left it on her nightstand during their one-night friendship.

Yes, I was underage for drinking at the time in some states, but not in others.
The Vietnam War had upset society, and people didn't know how to think about sending an 18 year old to war, killing and being killed, and then the fellows coming home and not being allowed to drink alcohol legally. Laws were all over the map, and carding at the door was reluctant.

Because of busing, I attended a rich kid's high school, where kids received cars for their 16th birthday, and weekend parties at rich parents' houses was common. The treasure trove of alcohol and drugs available was vast. Since I was a nervous and frightened blue-collar kid, a girlfriend taught me to pretend to imbibe but throw everything away. We both were bright kids, but not scholarship material. I saw things there, too.

If it wasn't for other things about the book which rang false, I would have called this a sneaky anti-party girl theme. As it is, it is simply manipulative. The author stacked the deck against her character. In today's world, Cathy, educated and fully employed, would have had a long list of things she could have done, including:

Rape kit at the nearest hospital.
Non-profit women's support groups.
Cell phone with GPS.
Hidden video recording device in her apartment
Weapon, such as gun, tazor or spray.
Self-defense martial arts class.
A dog

Cathy wasn't a ninny or a inexperienced child or a naive young adult. No doubt her backstory meant she might have harbored insecurities or neediness, but ultimately she didn't make sense as a character.

Whether I tried to view her as naif, an alcoholic, or mentally ill, as a character she did not compute.

As a person, she was too old and educated to be this ignorant and stupid, too self-aware to be this helpless.

I'm left with the idea that the author's motive was making a living. Good enough, and I've adored books written for Summer blockbuster entertainment beach reading. I've no problem with entertainment. The writing was very good, and the thriller pace was heart-pounding fast.

However, her 'heroine' was a total ass.

message 19: by Lynsey (new)

Lynsey | 20 comments 'Too stupid to live' !!!!!!!! I find this offensive

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