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  • An Outstanding and Touching Read

    Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse Nuttall I've just finished this book after reading it in two sittings and literally have no idea how to start this review. My emotions were stretched to the limit; it left me numb, happy, sad, plain exhausted. Told in present tenses from the female protagonist’s point of view, I found the grammatical structure used a feat in itself considering that the subject is extremely delicate and revolves around past events. Comprehensibly, this book isn’t overflowing with banter and neither did I feel the need for it. Nevertheless, what dialogue there is between all the characters is extremely good, especially in chapter one where we get to know two teenagers madly in love with each other. Then boom! From here on in I was taken on a staggeringly heart-breaking journey. Never in a million years could I ever have imagined the twist that was to come. I. Was. Stupefied! In fact, there are more bends than in a wiggly hairpin which only added to unlimited angst. At the end of the story, I didn’t know what to do with myself and as I’m still suffering from a monstrous book hangover, my thoughts on a high, low… totally out of control, picking up another read is for now, out of the question. What can I tell you about Jade Childs’ traumatic teenage experience without giving anything away? I instantly invested in this happy and outgoing lass; however, something didn’t seem to ring true. It was all too perfect, too beautiful. In a split of a second, her life is shattered to smithereens and in another, the ground was pulled from underneath my feet. What should have been the best moments in her youth converted into ten long years of utter agony; every detail is crudely described and I can honestly say that I wasn’t prepared for such a fallout. She barely survives and coming out unscathed from an ordeal so horrendous was not only impossible, but also made for very hard reading. Consequently, the lines became blurred with tears. Struggling to have a little normalcy is taking one step forward, two steps back. She can’t open up, she feels smothered by most of her family, her state of mind…fragile. Why her loved ones treat her the way they do and have difficulty handling their damaged daughter who I thought, beyond repair, was understandable. The press diving in like vultures twenty-four-seven causes much unrest in more ways than one, and is a strong factor in Jade’s story. Throughout the read, I desperately needed to see a light at the end of the tunnel and couldn't wait for her to seek professional help which earlier, was offered. It took me a while to warm up to her sister whose standoffishness was cruel. Her father is at a loss; her mother tries her best but nothing seems to work. Except one person. Torrin. He has the key. He will take control simply because he worships her. Worship being the optimal word as you will discover. “He’s the tether that keeps me from falling away.” Undying love tied by the medulla, the heart and soul has always been just them! Tears are falling on the keyboard while writing about these two outstanding characters. Very slowly, Torrin’s quest to find the girl who was virtually stolen from under his nose unravels. What a man! He has the patience of a saint, understanding and how guilt-ridden this poor man is. For me, he is beyond god-fearing. But I got so angry with him and know I was being unfair because in dire circumstances like this one, call for dire decisions to be made. How often I asked myself the question; “If only…?” “You and Torrin, you two could never just do anything.” All the character development is nothing less than sublime. The editing impeccable. Believe it or not, the one issue I had with this book was in its finality. Ms Williams, this is the first novel I have read by you and I will read it again and again. Hopefully with Rachel, my sister-in-arms who is dying to read it, will find comfort in my outstretched hand. So looking forward to reading more works by you. Bravismo! “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

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