Magdalene has been single for too long. When she meets James at a party she is both excited and cautious at how forward he is in his conversation. He immediately asks her out again and she accepts. The story thrusts the reader forward through lessons that she has learned.
We soon realize that James is one of those bullies who abuse their women. Magdalene is forced to do some pretty awful things on her birthday when James gives her a ‘gift’. She suffers through the experience and even dissociates herself from the scene. After the birthday gift is given and James has his way with her yet again, he tells her that he expects her to resign from her nursing position.
James has now taken away from her every aspect including home, family, money, and now job. He owns her and she belongs to him and only him. She is now trapped in a constant state of humiliation and is prepared to die from his abuse.
When she goes to tell her employer she is resigning she experiences something similar to spiritual awakening and fights to find a way out of the life under her tormentor.
This is a novelette; a very quick read. The story is twisted, and very dark. Immediately there exists a strong sexual and very explicit feeling and the language is definitely not meant for young eyes. Although many critics would complain that the story is too brief it is meant to be exactly that. Do not go into this expecting a well-rounded, nice long comfortable read. It is a short story; the character development is enough to see what problems are presented and how the solutions are obtained.
I had a bit of a difficult time understanding the spiritual aspects of this and the character Emma at times seemed more knowledgeable one moment and very much at a beginner’s stage the next. I would have preferred a more stableness with her character however I understood the difference in character by the end of the story.
A unique ‘freakish’ twist of a tale and I think every bit worth the .99 I spent to read it. Ashley Torbeck has an awesome interview with the writer if you are interested in reading more of his stuff.