Top positive review
Excellent book, but too real for some people
Reviewed in the United States on August 12, 2018
Adding my two cents because this literary work of art has so many bad reviews from readers who don't want to hear about the subject matter.
This book is primarily about the long term effect that traumatic abuse can have on a person, and how it changes their personality and behavior in ways that the people around them can't understand. I found it very refreshing to read a book that doesn't sugarcoat anything, and I commend Alice Hoffman for having the courage to write a book like this, addressing a topic that most people would rather pretend doesn't exist. Elv is a victim who decided to create her own reality because she couldn't accept the one she was handed, and nobody around her even noticed that she wasn't okay until it was too late. She is not "an awful, selfish person trying to bring everyone else down with her," she is a victim struggling to cope without anything resembling a functional support network. It is not a happy story, it is an authentic story that forces you to pay attention to the dark and painful reality that exists for at least some of the women who smile at you every day.
I have recommended this book to friends who are having trouble understanding random and unexplained behavior changes in a loved one after a traumatic experience. Read this book if you want to learn, grow, and have some empathy for the 1 out of 3 women who have been assaulted. Pass if you're looking for an escapist fantasy novel to make you feel warm and fuzzy.