I like stories that take you on an emotional roller coaster ride while you’re reading through them. However, I do not like tales of suicide or self-mutilation, and so when I was asked for a review of this book, I almost declined before I even started. Once I opened the cover and read the first sentence, I was in even more doubt. By now, I had agreed to do the review, and so settled in for a difficult read.
Then Roni turned the tables on me, and sent me flying through the pages. This is not an emotionally easy read, as there are atrocities in the character’s life that she has to deal with on her own, and with very little support from her family. Yet, even when the story dives into the darkest actions one human can inflict on another, it is handled with simplicity, dignity, and as much elegance as possible while staying true to the story.
This is a very fast paced, tightly written story designed from the first sentence to keep the pages turning and make it hard to put down. The glimmers of light that are cast out when everything seems blackest provide a new level of tension, along with a heightened element of “What will happen next?”
The narrative alone carried this story for me, as I saw very little in the way of character development. Usually, when introduced, the characters have to grow into their final person, yet in this book, you are introduced to the final person first. The rest of the tale is a series of flashback regressions that explain how this person got to where they are. Definitely an interesting approach, and one I haven’t seen done so well before. When the history of the character has been set out, the story begins stitching the pieces together, showing how the jigsaw fits together to make a complete picture. It is here where the word-smithing of Roni really gets to gleam. She has shown each of the facets of the characters involved in the history at one point or another, and now she shows the composite. At no point through the tale do any of the characters feel like a paper cut-out, even if you can’t tell just where the depth is… yet.
Though it is a hard read (content wise), I look forward to coming back and reading again when I can pry the 8 to 10 hours it will take to get through it. Just to see how many layers Roni has tucked away between these covers. Definitely worth five out of five stars in my opinion. If you have anyone thinking about suicide, this book is a must read for the people around them. Though it is fiction, it shows how even a few glimmers of kindness can make a world of difference.
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