3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
The year is 2019. Gloria had divorced her abusive husband and was married to Rick. This morning, Gloria woke up in the year 2003, in bed with Charles, her ex. Her two girls were still babies. Was this just a dream? How could she get out of this nightmare and back to Rick? Maybe she could find Rick and convince him that they would meet and marry in the future. She ran the risk that he would not believe her. He might even think she was crazy. If that plan didn’t work, was she condemned to relive the abuse that her husband dished out? Could she go through that again?
The Other Gloria by L. A. Villafane is a C/T/M/H novel. The PDF version I read had 339 double-spaced pages. The thirty-one chapters alternated between the years 2003 and 2017-2019. Gloria has been diagnosed with a dissociative disorder as the result of spousal abuse. She has nightmares and has lost most of her memories. In her confusion, she is aware that she must find the “other Gloria” who holds all the memories she can’t seem to access. Will she have the strength to confront the “other Gloria” so she can remember her daughters’ childhoods?
I was fascinated with the alternating chapters and how they moved fluidly between Gloria’s past and present. The reader is tasked with connecting Gloria’s story by understanding her two realities. The dates of the chapters continued to close the gap until the cathartic moment arrived when Gloria accepted hypnotherapy to meet with the “other Gloria.” There were a few times when I had to check the date at the beginning of the chapter to remember which “reality” the chapter presented. The author did an excellent job of creating an environment of tension and fear in 2003 when Gloria was still living with her abusive husband. The development of the daughters and their awareness of their father’s abusive behavior increased the emotional impact of the story.
The scenes describing Charles’s abusive behavior were hard to read. The vivid descriptions of Charles’s anger and how he manifested that rage, along with Gloria’s pain and suffering are strong and powerful. Her flashbacks of the way Charles treated her made my skin crawl. Anyone who has been in an abusive relationship might be triggered by these passages. I disliked finding twelve errors in this book. The majority of errors were misspelled words like “breath” for “breathe.”
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The author had me hooked on the plot from the very beginning. The dialogues between Gloria and Charles portrayed a dysfunctional marriage. In contrast, her conversations with Rick were hopeful and sweet as they both searched for a new beginning. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a compelling mystery or a psychological thriller. This author plays with your mind. The book contained very little profanity and a moderate amount of scenes portraying violent and abusive behavior towards women.
The Other Gloria
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon