Time to Discuss #5 – The Wishing Pearl

whising pearlI’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!Mardan-Mark-Sml

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3 thoughts on “Time to Discuss #5 – The Wishing Pearl

  1. Yay! Time to talk about The Wishing Pearl. I actually really liked this book a lot. The way it portrayed the abuse was just exactly how I can handle it – implied but off-screen and vaguely. I thought it did a fantastic job showing how a series of choices can lead you deeper and deeper until you look back and wonder, “how did I end up here?”

    The only reason the first half felt long to me was I was looking forward to her getting to Diamond Estates. I loved Diamond Estates – that’s the kind of place I wish my husband could find to work at. It was so similar to the facilities he has worked at/works at but with the added benefit of being Christian and good coworkers. (Though I know enough about his job to have found a few of their policies less than credible.) I did think the end dragged a bit – once it was all out in the open the book started to feel like a very long wrap-up. And I got a little frustrated at her wanting to sneak a smoke all the time. It didn’t help that my ebook didn’t have any spacing/**/indicators for scene cuts. So we’d time-jump between paragraphs and it would take me a minute to figure out time had passed and I was always confused. Date stamps would have helped a lot. (This is probably why her boyfriend signing “I love you” bothered me at the ending – so far as I was concerned, they’d been dating a week or something.)

    As for her mother, I agree that she was rather unlikable. And kind of a ditz. There were times she seemed fairly normal and then she would do things (like throw a fit in the church parking lot) that made me wonder what was going on in her head. Her choosing to look the other way and live in denial was despicable but I know someone who went through an almost identical scenario and her mother refused to acknowledge the truth and turned her back on her for many years over it. The person I know ended up being removed from the home due to her behaviors (primarily alcoholism and a miscarriage at 13) and I don’t believe her father was ever prosecuted or her sisters rescued. To this day in her 30s, she goes by an alias on social media to prevent him from ever finding her. But she has been able to mend relations with her mother and siblings. That segues into my one main beef with the book – while it was a relief how things turned out with Charlie, it was also too neat & easy an ending. Most people don’t get that kind of closure. (Someone else I know was abused as a young child – her abuser committed suicide shortly after his arrest. Such a thing dumps a whole other burden on the victim and their family.)

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    1. I did think the child abuse was handled well. I pretty much figured out that was what was going on, but it didn’t spell it out until much later in the book. But knowing that it was going on, I wondered why Olivia antagonized him if she worried what he would do to her in private?

      I agree that him pulling a gun on the mom when confronted seemed out of character. I can see where suicide would happen. I don’t think people choose to be child molesters as much as can’t help themselves, possibly because they were abused as children too. Charlie seemed more than that – like he was inherently evil and controlling. I think being shamed when the truth comes to light and committing suicide rather than facing the consequences seems more plausible. And you’re right – that’s an entirely different burden on the accused.

      Fiction can tie up difficult situations in pretty bows but that’s not always the case. Sometimes bittersweet endings are more realistic and in terms of fiction, more memorable.

      So do you plan to read Diamond Estates #2?

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      1. It seemed to me she would antagonize him when she felt safer (like if she thought her mom was home) – the opening chapter, she wishes she hadn’t done what she did with the oboe after she hears her mom is leaving.

        I do plan to read #2. I really liked the facility and would like to see it more. I already read the opening chapter which was at the back of my ebook. 🙂

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