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RELEASE DAY TODAY! TUESDAY, MARCH 10th, 2015! Description:
Hanna and Joe could never have suspected that the happiness of their youngest daughter, Dawn, would lead to the shattering of their lives. When Dawn brings her new boyfriend Rud around, the family tempers their unsettled feelings because they're glad that Dawn, always an awkward child, seems to have blossomed. But when Hanna and Joe are savagely beaten with a croquet mallet, Rud is the suspect. Joe dies and Hanna, who survives, begins to inhabit a world of coping, denial, regret, and wistful remembrance of her family--Dawn and Iris' sibling rivalry, Joe's protective stability, and a teacher's haunting statement, "It just seems like there's something missing," and if it means that Dawn could have helped Rud murder her father.
When Rud is granted an appeal, and eerily, Dawn returns to the family home, Hanna decides to try to remember that traumatic night so she can testify in the retrial and keep her husband's murderer in jail. When her memories resurface, Hanna must finally confront the reality of who Dawn has become.
This book is a psychological thriller that grabbed me within the very first few sentences. I could not stop reading this book! This author has talent in that she really pulls you into this story and doesn’t let you go! You want to know more and more until the book is done! You are practically living Hanna’s life along with her until the answers come, but they are a very slow build-up so you can learn the things you need to know to understand more about Dawn, her sister Iris, Joe, the father, and the family, in general.
In this book, Hanna must face her daughter, Dawn, head-on again, as Dawn decides to move back home again after being gone for several years, or at least since her boyfriend, Rud, who was found guilty of murder and attempted murder of Hanna, is granted an appeal. At least that is why I feel Dawn wanted to move back home again. I felt she was after something, I just didn’t know what. I wondered if Rud was going to be released, she would be in close proximity, and I have to admit I was pretty worried for Hanna.
Hanna is lucky to be alive, and spacey Dawn is using this to her benefit. I knew this character had a reason behind wanting to move back home, or at least that is the feeling I got, and my suspicions turn out to be correct, but one really creepy thing is Dawn calls her mother Mommy! What is with that? This girl is sick! I was sure that Dawn wanted to go back home after hardly having no contact for years with her own mother only to find out if any of her memory had returned. I didn’t know how that was going to play out, but I knew it was going to. Hanna is concerned about this, and shaken up over this, too, and she has every right to be!
So what happened? Hanna doesn’t know all of the answers herself, but she is determined to figure out what really did happen. There was NO way Rud was going to get out of prison, at least not after what he did to her and her husband.
Rud was convicted of murdering Joe. He was brutally murdered while sleeping in bed right next to Hanna with a croquet mallet. Dawn was found ‘not guilty’. Dawn took that as being innocent. Iris tried to tell her just because she was not guilty did not mean she was innocent, but that did not go over well. Hanna was also just about beaten to death, too, with that same croquet mallet, and in fact they ‘called it’, she was dead, but someone noticed she was barely breathing, or was she? Was her chest moving? She was lucky enough to still be hanging onto life, but barely.
Hanna underwent a 12-hour surgery and other hit or misses with life over the next six weeks of barely hanging onto life. She did end up living, as we know because we are reading all of her thoughts as to what is happening, but living without her complete memory of what happened has got to stop. She has to remember, she just could not. She was even considering doing hypnosis she wanted to remember things so bad. Dawn did not want her to do hypnosis. Hmmm. Maybe she’s not so dumb after all? Is she acting???
Hanna was left with a distorted face that plastic surgery could not fix, even later attempts were not successful. She felt as if she looked like a monster, and wore her hair a certain way, to try to hide as much of the side of her face as possible. (It had been mutilated.) At times Hanna didn’t know if surviving was good or bad because she lost her husband, had to live with the way she looked, and had to live with the knowledge that her own daughter, Dawn, very well may have had something to do with this murder attempt killing her own father AND her. I know deep down Hanna thought Dawn was guilty, but as a mother, can you imagine thinking that way about your own child? Wow. This is what Hanna has to come to terms with. Is her daughter a murderer or not? Does she go with her gut feeling, or not? She does start to have flashbacks of the attack happening, and slowly little things start to help bring some of her memory back in little bits and pieces, but very little bits and pieces. She keeps this to herself, though.
Hanna tells us everything that she knows, and it is very detailed, but easy to follow along and we want to know because I think I would have been thinking the same thing she was. It starts from the time Dawn was born and right up to the attack, as much as she could remember during the attack, and afterwards. She also goes through Dawn’s life and picks it apart, as I said, from the time she was born, to what kind of baby she was, trying to figure everything out about her, all the way to the ‘now’ Dawn. She went through everything and could and could not figure everything out, and I feel the part that was holding her back is the question of ‘how could MY child do this to me?’ Why would her own flesh and blood do something as awful as to try and kill her father and then her own mother? How can a child do this to their parents? I don’t think there is a logical answer for this. There can’t be, although each person is different, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a family member or a stranger, we are each our own.
This entire book Hanna works on trying to figure this out about her own daughter. Hanna was even playing head games with herself, which was completely understandable. HOW could your own child do something of this magnitude? I could relate to Hanna wondering about this. I could understand Hanna’s thought process. There was a question of another person possibly being the one who did this, too, and that is covered very in great detail, too.
This entire book is very detailed with Hanna’s thought process, the details of the events that occurred, as Dawn is growing up, the things other kids did to Dawn, the things Dawn did and didn’t do to the other kids, how she was always the victim, etc., even the way Dawn called her own self, “Ding, dong, Dawn.” Dawn never was really bright, then came Rud. Hanna would even remember things her husband Joe had said about Dawn and especially Rud. How could Dawn get mixed up with a guy like Rud? What did a guy like Rud see in a girl like Dawn? ‘Ding, dong, Dawn’? Was she the perfect target for him? What was she the perfect target for? There was even talk that Rud thought Dawn would have quite the inheritance, and Rud would take off with the money. HOW could this case come up for appeal? What did the court know that she did not?
One of the most terrible things was the previous non-health issues with the family dog that happened to come out of nowhere until Rud and Dawn had come home. It was her sister’s wedding day, and the dog became very, very sick, yet Rud steps in and tries to save the day with the dog because he had been working as an Intern at a Veterinarian's office, yet when Rud and Dawn first got to her parent’s house, Rud was very cruel to the dog. Rud seemed to be the suspect for the dog, and Joe especially thought it to be true, but/or, At the murder scene, the dog was found in the basement, hurt, but alive.
Hanna also wondered if it was their neighbor who never really liked the dog? There had been problems with one of the neighbor boys who did not like the dog. She had no clue. The only sense she could make of Dawn being with Rud was she got attention from Rud, attention she felt she had never had from anyone else in her life before. Hanna also read that Sociopath’s do not like animals, which sure would explain the animal issues.
Later in life Dawn started to have a problem with her one eye being a lazy eye again. Was this a sign she was losing control of her life again? When Dawn was young she learned about a surgery she could have when she turned 12, but her father said, “No.” There was nothing set in stone stating the surgery would definitely work. This did devastate Dawn somewhat. Was this what caused Dawn to want to kill her father, and herself, Hanna? Their standing by each other and saying no to the surgery?
Hanna has to ask herself if she can remember what happened, if Dawn did have anything to do with the killing of Hanna’s husband, Joe, Dawn’s own father, or if it was only Rud who did it, or was it BOTH Rud and Dawn? Could it have been someone else entirely?
It’s time for Hanna to decide whether or not her memories are secure enough to make a decision as to what to do with them.
Moving on, now Hanna has to learn to live her life. HER life. Not a life with Dawn, or Rud, nor Joe, nor their ghosts or going over what she could have changed, done different, or anything like. It's time to move on. She's done this enough. She’s on her own, or at least it’s time Dawn leave and Hanna live her life. Hanna realizes the only way to do this is to more or less wash her hands of everything that has happened and move on. She cannot hold herself responsible any longer because she is not responsible for what happened.
Sometimes a parent has to do this, as hard as it may be, in order to live their life without blame because parents are not to blame how their children decide to turn out. It's THEIR CHOICE. Hanna gets to live life to it’s fullest like she is supposed to! We are ALL supposed to live life! For ALL that Hanna has “LIVED” through, it’s about time she does live for herself and love herself. No one else is going to do this for her. Parents cannot blame themselves for the things their kids do when they become adults. As we raise our kids we can try to teach them right from wrong, but once they leave our homes, they’re on their own. Again, time for us to wish them the best, for us to wash our hands of them knowing we have taught them as well as we humanly could.
Some of you may not ever be able to relate to this, I don’t know, but for this woman, Hanna, and I’ll say it again, for all that she has LIVED through, the time is now to start living again - happily.
This book will be an excellent Book Club read! I loved this book, and I highly suggest it!
I received this book for FREE from the Hachette Book Group and NetGalley in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but of my own honest opinion. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.