Book Source: Own audio
On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a thirty-two year old Realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever- patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor of the day pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.
Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent captive of a sadistic psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events following her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered spirit back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.
The truth doesn’t always set you free.
What an incredible debut novel, a brilliantly written story that was gripping, raw and intense. The intensity doesn't come from suspense as you know immediately that Annie survives, it comes from the horror of her ordeal, the heart-stopping sense of fear, it comes from the shocking intimate details and the constant wondering ... when will it be over, for Annie and for me.
In sessions with her therapist Annie reveals not only the specifics of her year in captivity but the aftermath of her escape, the gruelling details you don't often hear about. When the person you used to be no longer exists how do you learn to live again?? I really liked the character of Annie, her intelligence, her dark sarcasm; a protective mechanism devolped as a result of the trauma she suffered, her unflagging determination, her honesty and courage.
I think people can be so crushed, so broken, that they'll never be anything more than a fragment of a whole person.
Apart from the obvious traumatic and heartbreaking details tears rolled down my face when Annie described the dog pound where she used to help out. This got to me almost as much as the psychological abuse and physical torture that Annie endured.
This one dog, Bubbles, an ugly little thing with a skin condition was there for ages but as soon as anyone new came in he pranced up to the front of the cage like he was the most beautiful creature in the world ... always hopeful.
... I hoped they put Bubbles to sleep before he finally figured out no one was coming for him.
This won't be a story for everyone but it's superbly written and one of my favourites this year; kudos to Chevy Stevens for making it terrifyingly real without being gratuitious. I guess some may find the twist a little far-fetched, but it worked for me; not much surprises me in regards to human disloyalty. And it's worthwhile having a box of tissues handy for the last sentence of the book ... *sob, sob.* I'll be one of the first in line to buy Chevy Stevens' next novel, Never Knowing due for release mid 2011.
Visit Chevy Stevens' website to find out more.
This month on The Eclectic Reader THREE lucky readers will win their choice of books. Check this blog post for details. International entrants welcome.