Genre: Women’s Fiction
Beth became a child psychologist so she could help abused children. Her latest patient is HerHErin, a fifteen-year-old who has killed her father. There appear to be no extenuating circumstances. If Beth can’t find out why she did it, the girl will spend many years in prison. Erin, however, isn’t talking. “Of course, Beth knows she shouldn’t share her own past with a patient, but there seems no other option. Now the abuse she suffered as a child has returned in terrifying nightmares.” (Amazon)
This is Rebecca L. Marsh’s first novel, released in October 2018. “[She] is an author of women's fiction and a member of the Paulding County Writer’s Guild. She grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina and now lives in Dallas, Georgia, with her husband and daughter. When not writing or caring for her family (cats and dog included), Rebecca occasionally makes home-made candy and works on her scrapbooks (she is woefully behind).” The book is largely set in W North Carolina.
This is a good read – and is a considerably edgier book than one might expect to find under the flag of ‘women’s fiction’. I was looking for something different to review – and this is certainly not something that is usually on my ‘to read’ pile. I don’t think it gives anything away to say that a central thread of the book is domestic abuse. The descriptions of the violence put across the pain and terror of the victims vividly. The sense of dread is well-handled. The way abuse attracts its own consequences is well drawn. The whole, however, is dealt with sensitively and with compassion. The book follows well-trodden paths, but does so, for the most part, with drive and elegance. The pages turn themselves. What happens rings true, to the point where I pray Marsh is not drawing on personal experience. She has certainly done her homework. This is an accomplished piece of work. Especially when one learns that this is the author’s first novel.
Be aware that the book deals with domestic abuse..
Rating: **** Four Stars
Reviewed by: Judi Moore
Approximate word count: 95-100,000 words