The Woman in the Car Trunk by John Meany
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The book is about an ex husband seeking revenge on his ex wife for divorcing him. I am ambivalent about it. I went through a soon to be ex husband threatening me, and my children, with a loaded gun over the filing for divorce. It really does happen. The story, I felt, was possibly made with good intentions. As such, it brings to the table a scenario that happens too often. However, the raw emotion was missing. Trust me. The terror you feel is paralyzing. When you’re sitting in a chair with a six month old in your arms and a ten year old holding her three year old sister in hers, you are absolutely aware of everything you can’t do. You are absolutely aware the man in front of you, with the gun, has taken away any physical chance you may have had. You don’t argue. You lie. You lie worthy of an Oscar but you don’t pick a fight. You know with all your heart you pick a fight and those children are either going to die in front of you or they are going to watch you die. You don’t bring up things he did wrong. You don’t bring why you want the divorce. Their only chance is on you convincing him that the divorce is something you regret, (not a lie, as, in that moment, you are regretting with everything in you), you lying about getting back together, lying about how much he is wanted at home and how you just didn’t know how to stop it. You lie with your heart pounding so hard you are certain you will die, once the children are safe, from a heart attack. There was no raw fear. It was like it was just another argument. The only time I felt her fear was when she was in the trunk.
I don’t know the author’s experience with domestic violence. It didn’t feel to me as if he had any knowledge outside of bad movies. He made a big point of her nudity under her robe and her breast spilling out. I felt like that was there to titillate and it really bothered me. Domestic violence is a real problem. The victim may be female or male. They deserve to be treated with dignity. Most likely, in the abuse situation, they weren’t. I know I wasn’t. I can’t even begin to write out that horror. It stays with you. The memories can bring you down at any time. You can be fine and then a crying mess in a moment. I’m hoping the author wrote this to bring attention to the issue. If he did, even though it was poorly written, it earns the actual 2 1/2 stars, (I round up as I can’t actually give a 1/2). But I’m left feeling as if what I, and thousands of others, experienced was just for entertainment purposes. And that’s why I can’t give it more stars.
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