Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Review: Never Let You Go by Erin Healy

Title: Never Let You Go
Author: Erin Healy
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 2010)
Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Christian
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: phenix & phenix literary publicists (Mahalo Amy!)

About the book: from the publishers
Lexi is a young single mother learning to cope with the aftermath of a family disaster and the decisions of her husband, who left seven years ago. With little left to hold on to, she devotes her life to her only daughter, and is determined to do anything--work grueling hours, sacrifice financially--just to make her happy. But when her estranged husband unexpectedly reenters their lives, her sister's murderer comes up for parole and an unwanted acquaintance returns demanding payment of an old debt, Lexi's world is quickly turned upside-down once again. As hidden sins are exposed and a whirlwind of mysterious forces begin to surface, Lexi is forced to make a difficult choice that could complicate everything.
My thoughts:
The beginning of this book, and the initial entrance of the main antagonist, Warden Pavo, is so horrific and frustrating, that I didn't know whether I should be outraged by Lexi's powerlessness or Ward's crudity and raw evil. Is he Satan on Earth or just a man who knows how to get under someone's skin? I was hoping that this could be a fantasy so that I didn't need to see the inevitable crumbling of Lexi's world. Somehow, if it's a fantasy, I know that I can look away and know that this is not happening in this world, to these characters, it's all just make believe.

Healy doesn't allow me to do this in her book. I had to keep turning away from the psychological and physical violence in this book because it felt too realistic. Most of the violence that happened really could happen, probably does happen in life and part of my enjoyment in reading is that I don't have to see the reality that lives in this world.  I'm tired of reading the newspaper articles about women that are murdered by their husbands. I pass by the soccer field and on one of the fences is a small shrine, erected this month for a woman who picked up her husband from the bus stop in downtown Hilo, had an argument with her husband, then was stabbed multiple times as she ran toward the fence with bystanders trying to help her and cars driving past.  A passerby had to almost run over her husband with his van in order to separate her from him and try to get her help. This book is like that. Lexi by herself  can never protect Molly from Ward. It felt like I couldn't breathe at times, and that there was no hope for Lexi and her daughter Molly.

Ward, though, is only one of Lexi's problems. There's also her husband who abandoned her and is now back for her daughter, her sister's killer who is up for parole (Ward wants her to show up at his parole hearing and speak for her sister's killer or he'll take Molly), her father who lost touch with reality after her sister's murder and is now in a mental health facility, and her own inability to make enough money to get them out of town, or even away from her past. I'm not sure who she can really trust in this book except Molly, her roommate Gina, and cryptic Angelo, Molly's guardian angel who can't really help Lexi, but protects Molly for as long as Molly needs him.

In a sentence. . .
Lexi's 'demons' will keep you up at night in this page-turning thriller. 

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