Sleeping with Elvis by Beth Carter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read this book after reading another book by the author. I was expecting a light, maybe comedic, story. Something to just pass the time. I was surprised with so much more.
I was surprised with the storyline of a young woman in an abusive relationship. I was astonished to find a character that I could relate to. I was in an abusive relationship for many years, some of those years involved me being a domestic violence liaison. I knew about the circle of violence and the reasons why one should leave. I, oddly, never felt that I was anywhere in there. What was going on at home didn’t resemble the circle. I started reading books that had DV as a theme. I was looking for me. I finally found someone who resembled me a bit. I really understood Pepper. I was excited to see a character that represented women like me and didn’t downplay it or sugarcoat it or make her a superhero. Pepper was flawed and she was caught in the web that guys like Derek cast so well. Before you start thinking this is a triggering, dramatic story, let me assure you it is not. Only one instance of physical violence was mentioned and Pepper was questioning whether or not she should mention it. I often downplayed my injuries, sometimes outright lying about them. Most of Pepper’s abuse was emotional/mental. Balancing that was Pepper’s thoughts about leaving and a vacation coming up. She had to face some fears with that, too. She meets a few men who help her in her journey to escape. I adored George. The story had dramatic times but also had fun times. Saylor was absolutely a favorite character and I think everyone wants Ty.
A lot of times, when reading books that have DV as part of the story, I have to stop and read something else, color, watch a movie, listen to music or hike. I just need breaks to breathe and soothe myself. I didn’t need that with this book. Whenever I had to put it down, I was itching to get back to it. I wished I had blocked out time to read it with no interruptions. I was hooked by flawed but courageous Pepper. I understood her weak moments. I knew why she was hesitant and easily led to believe appearances. I cheered every time she was fearless or faking it. This book that I chose just because I enjoy Elvis and I liked the author’s book Babies at Coconuts, became a story that touched me deeper than I expected. I recommend the book and hope you take the chance on reading it. If you are uncertain, ask your library to get it or borrow it through KU.
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