In one moment, Anne O’Sullivan, a 32-yr old real estate agent, finds her life forever changed when she is abducted from an open house she is hosting. The reader doesn’t come in on this scene. Instead, we get to read as her experience is told to her therapist one session at a time.
Her life before the event was similar to the everyday normalcies of life, sprinkled with shadows of a horrific event in which her father and sister were killed in an automobile accident when she was just a child leaving her mother and herself to continue on with their lives.
On the day she is abducted, her often irritating mother, a nice boyfriend who is sometimes too understanding, a beautiful house, an amazing best friend, and a perfect dog are all ripped away from her. Her captive who she calls The Freak during her sessions imposes humiliating rules that she must follow or be beaten, denied the basic necessities, and often even worse ordeals. Over the course of a year, she endures the Freak’s confusing and chilling personalities and suffers over and over at the hands of the monster.
She tells her therapist that she understands that Stockholm syndrome kicked in. She even admits that she found him ‘interesting and articulate.” This infuriates her and she screams “How could I ever tell anyone he made me laugh?” Anne tells her story with a coolness, and often a very rancid point of view, which I could easily understand.
Of course, since she is talking to her therapist, the reader knows she survived the ordeal; the drama isn’t over yet though. Anne gets the sense that she is still in trouble and feels as though someone is out there watching her, and waiting.
This novel was definitely an excellent read. I read it twice in fact. The characters aren’t as intriguing as the plot is. The suspense does not drag along but keeps the reader on edge and ready to turn the page on and on. The book was quite dark and if you have trouble dealing with pages and pages of profanity, this book is definitely not for you. I personally could feel empathy for the protagonist and felt her cynical views, often accompanied with swearing was understandable after what she went through.
As long as you are okay reading profanity and can deal with sometimes graphic sexual scenes and can suffer with the emotional involvement that the book will likely pull from you this book is certainly a book that is worth reading.