4 out of 4 stars
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This novel was strikingly honest from the very beginning. The kind of honesty that implores the reader to empathize with the characters and connects them to your psych for an eternity. It is imperative that I note here that such raw emotions are brought about by traumatic circumstances. Consequently, there may be some individuals who should proceed with caution.
The author details the love of a mother for her children, and the love of children for their mother with extreme accuracy. The struggles of this family are daily and pervasive, yet they don’t regard one another with hate or blame. In fact, the lengths that they are willing to go in order to protect one another will very likely surprise you. As a student of neuropsychology, I found the thought processes following trauma, and the resulting actions to be both probable and fascinating. If you like stories that detail the extremes of the human psyche, this is one needs to be added to your list.
That being said, there are some things that the characters resort to doing that many people would not do. This can make them more difficult to relate with in certain instances. However, in the context of the overall plot, I didn’t find it impossible to sympathize with their thought processes in committing more extreme acts.
The story starts out with a simple family in a state of poverty. They live in a rural community where everyone seems to know everyone. In fact, there are many people in the community who seem to know more about Natalie’s family history than anyone has ever bothered to share with her.
Throughout the novel, she has to pry information about her father from various family members piece-by-piece. However, that is far from the main goal of Natalie. No, she has a job that she is trying to turn into an art career, a love that is forbidden, a mom who she loves but is unsure of how to save, and a step-father who she can’t find common ground with. She also has a cast of siblings who each have their own unique damage.
Without divulging the end of the book, I will say that the novel’s resolution was both my favorite and least favorite portion. I do highly recommend that you read it for yourself and discern whether you still feel the same way about each of the characters in the end. I am rating this novel 4 out of 4 stars because it was engaging, emotional, and professionally written.
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