Top positive review
Gut Wrenching Reality
Reviewed in the United States on January 17, 2004
This book is Delinsky's best to date, in my opinion. She has a cast of utterly unlikeable characters, apart from Annie, Zoe and Grady. There are oversexed, cheating husbands; power drunk, cruel and heartless men (J.S., J.D.); and other nasty people in this story that guarantees enough grist to keep a gal grinding her teeth or her gristmill of angst. There is the dimwitted, hormonally dominated,low class brood mare Teke who just continues to lame out and be helpless, her favorite mode of action. There are bratty teenagers whom one might want to kick all their over-privileged, over-indulged rearends any number of times. The story is a mind bending tour de force of the pain of dysfunctionality in families, and extended families, who in this story include best friends and their brood. Then there is a teenage revenge pregancy and a very malicious neighborhood gossip who involves herself in the story and literally brings down the families in a heartless power manipulation to grab her 5th husband from the fallout. Plus, there is plenty of other good stuff like control freak men with their raging threats and a powerful portrayal of two men with irrational, revenge mentalities who are utterly drunk on the dynamics of power manipulation. And the GUILT! It oozes from every pore in this story of mutual betrayals.
I loved this book. I could hate most of the main characters because of their despicability and root for the two who redeem the story. What an interesting polarity challenge. Rarely does an author write in such a way as to invite that sort of reader participation in the emotional abuse process unfolding in the book. The insights provided by the characters are not only relevant to the story line, they are relevant to one's own family structure for the book makes you look inward, to examine one's own reality and to THINK with new depth! A wonderful gift to a reader.
In fact, it would be a good research assignment for people who are studying sociology and psychology of family dynamics in their graduate programs at college. It is light years above the vacuous psychobabble of most of the mainstream psychology texts with their little powerpoint menus of dysfunctionality and hypothetical constructs. (Yawn). I know because I am a trained psychologist and I can attest to how meaningless those kinds of college texts are overall. If a reader is involved in a family mess of cheating spouses, control freak parents, bratty teenagers and those gut wrenching, raging dialogs by wronged parties then this book is a good way to externalize the grief, look at it, and gain the perspective provided by a whole lot of clues how to resolve conflict suggested in this work. I most definitely recommend this book.