by Jenn Crowell
Kindle Edition – Read February 7, 2014
Original Release: February 4, 2014
Length: 336 pages
On the surface, sixteen-year-old Lesley Holloway is just another bright new student at Hawthorn Hill, a posh all-girls’ prep school north of London. Little do her classmates know that she recently ran away from home, where her father had spent years sexually abusing her. Nor does anyone know that she’s secretly cutting herself as a coping mechanism…until the day she goes too far and ends up in the hospital.
Lesley spends the next two years in and out of psychiatric facilities, where she overcomes her traumatic memories and finds the support of a surrogate family. Eventually completing university and earning her degree, she is a social services success story—until she becomes unexpectedly pregnant in her early twenties. Despite the overwhelming odds she has overcome, the same team that saved her as an adolescent will now question whether Lesley is fit to be a mother. And so she embarks upon her biggest battle yet: the fight for her unborn daughter.
This book was hard to read. Not because it was bad, but because of the subject matter. It really wasn’t what I was expecting. I can’t imagine writing a book of this level and having it be fiction, because to get into the mind of someone with a mental illness without actually having that mental illness would be very, very difficult and a big mind fuck. This book is explicit in so many ways, sexually, mentally, emotionally. I can’t fathom the depth of a real person, let alone a fictional character that goes through all the crap that Lesley goes through. I find mental illness fascinating, but the whole beginning portion of incestual rape, that was hard to read, I mean a rape scene is hard, but a parent doing the act is hard to digest. There were so many parts of the book that made me sick, made me hurt, made me wonder how people really live through these actions. So I guess this book was better than I’m rating it. I’m rating it lower because of pacing, it dragged, it felt redundant in places and there were many times that I just wanted to put the book down and walk away. It’s fantastic, but this book isn’t for everyone.
*I did receive this book for free for an honest review.