by Alice Sebold
This book is brutal. There is no sugar-coating and no shying away. It's brutal, and it's addictive. This is the kind of book you just can't put down. The story isn't exactly anything I haven't read or seen before, but the way its written, it draws you in.
I don't want to say too much about this book because I really think you should read it and I don't want to give too much away. But the book is filled with some great What?!!? moments. It centers around relationships, mostly disfunctional multi-generational mother-daughter relationships and the products of mental illness. It's riveting. But it's not about pitying the characters, except maybe the husband, a little, but they knew what they were signing up for. Everyone has their own demons, their own disfunctions, and their own way of dealing with them, or not, and how they've shared them with or projected them on the people they love. It's completely absorbing.
The ending is a little dissatisfying. Part of what drives the reader is the desire to find out how Helen is going to get out of her situation and the end didn't really deliver. But the book is still great and definitely worth reading.