This is a book by Jodi Picoult who, I must confess, is one of my favourite authors. I have all her books! This particular book was released in 1995 and was her third book.
The book begins with a woman hurt and bleeding, waking up at a graveyard with no memory of who she is or how she got there. She is found by an LAPD cop, William Flying Horse who feels a connection with her and takes her to his place while he puts a missing persons ad in the paper. The only thing they know is that she is married, given the wedding ring on her finger. After waiting for days, she is finally identified thanks to the ad as being Alex Rivers’ wife: Cassie Barrett. An anthropologist. A successful anthropologist. And Alex Rivers is not just any man. He is a major Hollywood star.
Cassie is taken home by Alex to this picture perfect life. After all, he is a Hollywood star and they have everything money can buy. But then, as her memory starts to return, Cassie realises that all is not perfect as was initially presented. Cassie remembers why she was at the graveyard that night. She was running away. From an abusive husband. Alex Rivers has been physically abusive towards Cassie, and like most abusive partners, apologises and cries after kicking and punching her. Cassie loved him dearly and believed those apologies. Those tears. Those words that it would never happen again. That he needs her. And in the end, she has to decide what to do. Will she have the courage to leave him or will it end tragically?
It is a lovely and sad book. Jodi Picoult takes you into a house that on the outside, is perfect, but has several demons inside. It is a realistic portrayal of so many families out there. Of women who believe their abusive partners words and stay in the relationship. Of those women who get the courage to walk out…only to return.Of women who put on a mask for the rest of the world. Of highly educated, intelligent and successful women who are charmed by such abusive men and find it hard to leave.
You can feel Cassie’s pain and you hate Alex, despite his charms.
You wonder why Alex needs Cassie so much but still treats her like shit.
You wonder what core beliefs Cassie has about herself that makes her stay (Ok…so this might just be me, given my psych background! Sorry…)
You urge Cassie to get away….to leave him.
You hold your breath wondering if she will.
It’s an amazing read. And it will tug at your emotions.
Until next time,