The back of the book:
‘Sometimes domestic violence is hard to recognise because it does not always come in the form of black eyes and broken bones’
The beginning of this book didn’t particularly grab me. I felt that there was a slight lack of direction where there was a beautiful lake and cabin site described and then all of the upset of the actual story was slammed right into it. I thought there might be more of the lake but as this is a memoir I didn’t particularly mind that there was not.
A heart wrenching memoir written by a woman so deep in love that she seemed to have lost all of her functioning faculties, especially the ones that would assist her in keeping a grasp of her true identity. From what I read in the book Jamie (the writer) was not much older than myself when all of this darkness started to encroach on her life. Whilst enduring such cruelty and abuse she continued to show courage, love and hope to the one person that mattered to her most in the world despite his wretched actions towards her.
I questioned many times whilst reading how any human being (if he can even be classed as that) could ever treat someone else who is portraying such love for them in the way Jamie did for Ben. Unequivocal, absolute, unconditional love. The saying ‘I wouldn’t spit on him if he was on fire’ comes to mind – and however unchristian that makes me sound I will take that risk.
There were points throughout the book that I had to put it down go for a cigarette or a cup of coffee and just cool off. These impromptu breaks were due to my pure and utter disgust from the behaviour portrayed by the excuse of a man named Ben. Thoughts such as ‘how could you let him treat you like this CONSTANTLY. Over and over and over again?’ then I realised that Jamie this caring woman was trapped and consumed whole heartedly in this relationship regardless of the affection and attention being reciprocated by the other person. She was trapped by a monster who knew exactly what he was doing and exactly how to take advantage of a vulnerable person.
Loneliness was a feeling that I can only imagine Jamie was feeling when all of this was going on. And the more I think about it the more I think it was planned by Ben to get her away from home, family, friends and anything familiar to a place she didn’t know and play his very sick game. One thing I am happy about is that she finally asked for help – otherwise this book may not have made it to our shelves and neither would the writer. Something as destroying as this type of mental abuse can be detrimental to a person’s health and if there is no-one to help or that person doesn’t reach the point where they can ask for help well they may end up sadly like Harry (this bit you have to read the book for!)
There are many women and men out there who suffer from such abuse (some may think the word abuse is a bit hard but the truth is hard). If you know anyone who has had to or is dealing with such pain and anguish or you even suspect such goings on, please get them this book as a gift or even just suggest they buy it. The same goes for those that are not or have not been through anything like this as this book may well stop such things happening in the future. A truly touching memoir full of parts that I will never forget.
Rating: I couldn’t decide on this rating so there are two with reasoning
Unforgettable and truly touching
Read: Sent an ARC from the Author