It was hard for me to read this book and is even harder for me to describe in a way that does it justice. It is a novel about pain, about tragedy and trauma and what that does to people. It is also about addiction. But that description does not touch on the impact it had on me. Ramsey makes her characters so real I feel their pain as my own. I struggle right along with them as they battle their demons.
When a tortured man suffering from PTSD kills several people, including two of his sons what happens to his wife and the one son that he left alive? How to they cope with the unexplainable, the loss, the stigma. How do they relate to each other? And how are the others they are in contact with relate to them, especially when they, too, have unresolved issues?
The answers are tough to read – but they are real. Oh yes, very real.
Previously I had only an intellectual understanding of addiction. Now, upon living with these characters in such an intimate way for a while, I truly believe I understand. I understand what brings us to try drugs, and I understand the irresistible lure of the release from unbearable pain they can bring, a release which makes it so, so difficult to break loose from its hold.
I almost stopped reading this, it was so painful, as I too, suffer from PTSD. But I read it all and I’m so glad I did. If you begin, please read until the very end. If not you’ll never get all of the message.
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)