So. Everyone and his book club raved about this one last year. I hit my combination of $2 or less at the Used Book Store + Audio Copy in Stock at the Library this weekend. I noticed, when I logged it into LibraryThing, that someone called it a Couldn’t Put it Down For Serious – which did not faze me.
It is the story of a young woman that was snatched off the street of her college campus and held captive for sexual slavery purposes in the kind of totally sound-proof and secure garden shed that establishes the Baddie as having planned the deal for a really, really long time. The book opens after seven years of captivity and sets up the escape and aftermath.
The catch, if you haven’t heard it before, is that the first person narrative is by her five year old son.
The brilliant thing here is that the kid would have to be pretty damn articulate to affect a story worth reading. The author pulls that off by establishing that he is incredibly literate..his mother taught him everything academic thing possible. But she couldn’t teach him about things like.. stairs. She also had to find a way to explain the world to him without being all..”we are being held captive by a twisted and evil man and I have no idea how we are ever going to get out of here.”
She does remarkably well.
I had to stop the audio and pick up the book for almost an entire disc to read about the escape. It is rather odd to have the height of the tension in the middle of the book, but that’s how it had to be.
The aftermath is fascinating, as the mom tries to reclaim her life and the boy, Jack, adjusts to new things every day. And we, the audience, see more bits and pieces of the horrific full picture.
This time, the Book Club Crowd picked a winner.