I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this one.
For me, I liked the second half of the book better than the first. Olivia’s spiral of poor choices make sense for a girl who is trapped in a nightmare life. I can see where she would subconsciously think, “Why not use self-destruction as a means to escape? What does it matter anyway?”
And I can maybe understand the mother’s complete denial of the situation. She remarries a rich guy and she and her children are living the fairy tale but just like with fairies, sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. She knew something was going on, but didn’t choose to see it, much to the detriment of her daughter. But it was hard for me to like her, even at the end when she wakes up from the dream and realizes she’s been a complete putz.
For me, the book felt looooong. I just wanted Olivia to TELL SOMEBODY instead of descending into the self-destruction spiral. I’m one of those tell-it-like-it-is people, so I fundamentally can’t connect with characters who don’t.
I know it’s common for children who are abused to feel shame and fear and not to speak out. I feel sorry for them. And sometimes even when they do tell people, they aren’t believed. I get that. I worked in a crime lab for 11 years and a lot of child assault cases came through. It is devastating.
But it is hard to read about a character who keeps making poor decisions. That’s why I was glad when she finally reached the bottom and moved on to get help. I enjoyed the part at Diamond Estates, although it too felt long.
SO WHAT ABOUT YOU? Could you empathize with Olivia? Did you find the first half or second more captivating? Was this book difficult for you to read for any reason? What did you think about the mom?
And don’t forget – next week we’re discussing #6 – Mardan’s Mark!