This was not the light and carefree read I was expecting at all. After a big, complicated book like Game of Thrones I always like to mix it up a bit by giving myself a break with some chick lit or something equally as easy a read, hence the choosing of this book. However I made a bit of a boo-boo people. This falls somewhat awkwardly between the chick lit genre and a pyschological thriller, believe it or not. A funny combination, I know.
It begins innocently enough, which enforced my believe that it was indeed a light and carefree novel, with us being introduced to the main character, Sally. She’s the typical chick lit character, single, all her friends are happily living in coupledom, she’s looking for Mr Right, she feels like she’ll grow into a lonely old spinster, etc, etc. She decides to join a dating website and after a few mishaps shes meets Chris who just so happens to be her dream guy. Or so she thinks.
This is where it starts to get weird. He starts out by being this seemingly perfect gentleman but evolves into this monster from Hell. You see everything through Sally’s eyes and its terrifying to see a happy, healthy woman self-destruct into a shrivelling wreck of a human being all because of one man’s psychological abuse. He starts slowly manipulating her so that she obviously doesn’t realise anything strange is going on but eventually he has her completely and utterly dependent on him for every little thing in her life. So much so that she becomes a practical hermit who’s too afraid to step foot outside the door of the house. I thought this part of the book was very well written and even the reader is at times wondering, maybe he’s not that bad, when he clearly is evil. You could understand exactly how women find themselves in these positions where they end up in abusive relationships without fully realising how in the hell they got there.
There were a few bad points, of course, nobody’s perfect. The abandonment of Sally by most of her friends and family into the clutches of this horrible man is way too easy. Anyone with a brain could see what he was doing to her from the outside. I also had issues with how easily she accepted everything. They moved in together after two weeks, she didn’t see anything wrong with that. They started trying for a baby two months after that, once again she saw nothing wrong. He made her give up work which she genuinely liked, again accepted without a lick of doubt. I felt parts of the book were rushed where they didn’t need to be. The final problem I had was with the ending. After finally escaping his clutches she moves in with her friend David, who she believes to be gay, and within a few weeks she’s having sex with him in a swimming pool…
Mistakes? Learn from? Mean anything to you? Anyway it’s a cliché happy ending which I suppose you want from a chick lit novel but from a psychological thriller, maybe not. This is a good story, book-ended by a mediocre start and finish.
- Yes, I Read Chick Lit, Dammit! (thebrowntweedsociety.com)
- Chick Lit: Made of Fluff or Real Stuff? (therabbitbooks.wordpress.com)