©2006 Meg Tilly; (P)2006 Meg Tilly
"Tilly achieves moments of raw beauty and genuine fierceness while sustaining the intensity of an X-rated thriller and driving this harrowing story all the way to the courtroom." (Booklist)
I've never written a review on audible before and I've listened to countless books. I felt that I needed to on this one.
The story itself made me sick, sad and at times disgusted with myself for continuing to listen. I couldn't put it away though. It's like a car accident on the side of the road. You just have to see if somebody's ended up a bloody mess.
This book was written with a viscious, foul and truthful voice. It's painful to think of a helpless child in this type of predicament and it's sickening to hear the thoughts of the predator but I think it's a necessary story. I think there are far too many people in the world who don't realize the horrors that await children around every corner.
Wow. How do I describe Gemma?
First and foremost, I truly feel that this book is absolutely NOT for anyone under 21. Not 18... 21!
When the pedophile does the narration, this story is brutal, sick and very disturbing. When Gemma narrates the story, it is honest, endearing and at many points charming. Tilly's reading is amazing and her tearful sequences found me, a 43 year old man welling with tears of my own. I don't think this title would be nearly as good in print because the author's reading is so good, probably due to her fantastic acting ability.
The story has a great ending, is very well done, but MUST NOT be approached lightly. It is graphic, gritty, extremely disturbing, and not for the young, easily influenced, or the faint of heart.
I always wondered what happened to Meg Tilly because she never showed up in People or Enquirer or blah blah blah. Then I stumbled across Gemma and was intrigued with the admonition to beware of it's brutality. Even if I hadn't googled her and found out about her writing career, I would have said that this book rings true like a crystal bell. Her kid voice is perfect. I bought every word of it. The voice of Haven slipped and he sounded a lot like Gemma. But that is a minor quibble that means nothing. The important aspect is that it doesn't look away from the minds of predator and prey. Her look into Haven's mind, especially toward the end, is too twisted not to be true. I will buy a hard copy of this book and send it to a publisher friend of mine, and that's how much I liked the book.
I just finished this audiobook (in record time;) I didn't want to hear anymore, but I couldn't stop either. I have to be honest; about 2 hours into the book I thought to myself, "What kind of sick b*%$ is this?" (referencing Ms. Tilly)
Meg Tilly's writing and performance was amazing - I felt I was with her character every traumitizing and hope filled step of the way.
This book is not for the faint of heart, and I can understand the reviewer with children that couldn't finish it. This book doesn't cut close to the bone - it saws to the marrow.
This book was absolutely awesome! The story itself broke my heart. This book is not for the weak. It will tear you apart. Meg Tilly voice & narration was excellent! I've listened to countless audio books on this site, but never have I heard a narrator deliver such a powerful performance.
An alpaca farmer in Oregon.
This is a very harrowing, ultimately redemptive story. But the audio performance by the author is utterly outstanding, among the best I have ever listened to.
Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit
I am reluctant to say I enjoyed this book thoroughly because it contains some extremely brutal imagery that only a real sicko would enjoy. However, the narration is nothing short of amazing and the story will quickly have you engulfed if you let down your guard for a few minutes and just listen. This is not "easy listening" but it will make you feel something.
I bought this audiobook and started it several times before I committed to hear it through until the end. Having a daughter the same age, it was only natural to picture the loss of innocence and abuse happening to her. Meg Tilly did a great job narrating the story but the way she wrote the thoughts of the pedophile, to me, was the most powerful part of the work. She made him human. Don't get me wrong, he was a monster in every sense of the word but he doesn't view himself that way. He doesn't justify his behavior, he actually believes what he did was right.
As the others said, be forewarned, this isn't fluff and fun. It is nasty, gritty and honest. I cried both sad tears and happy tears. If you can stomach it, I do recommend it simply for the emotional growth and confidence that a young girl achieves after a life time of abuse.
This is an emotionally-charged read if ever there were one, and it unleashes horrors it can be supposed most people would not normally want to think about. Nonetheless, Tilly approaches the subjects of child abuse, pedophilia, and sexual torture with vivid candor. While the character, Gemma, may indeed serve as an allegory of innocence defiled, she is fleshed out so beautifully by the author as to become a real (and so endearing) person. You will want to love her and protect her, I think. And, then, it will occur to you how much you want to protect all the Gemmas of the world. Tilly's narration is superb, and I can't recommend the book enough.
This is a good listen, but like the others say in these reviews, it's not for the faint of heart. The book moves at a good pace and the author/reader is incredibly dynamic. She is an actress, for those of you who haven't figured that out already, and she brings these characters to life...almost a bit too realistically at times. The only real issue I had with the reading is that Gemma (the young lady in the book) is read at a super-fast pace that can be grating and annoying; just like a REAL kid! Very few breaths are taken when she speaks as Gemma and that, coupled with the speed wore on me a bit. Otherwise, she did a phenomenal job!
"Well Worth a Listen"
To begin with I wondered if I should / would / could listen to this book, the subject matter is to say the least a little sickening. However, I found the story although harrowing at times very interesting & the use of having the story from the 2 perspectives was an eye opener. Not a "cuddle up on the sofa" listen, but not a disappointing book.
"A harrowing tale of surviving against all odds."
This audio book, read by the author Meg Tilly is sexually explicit and while it is very graphic, and I cannot stress that highly enough ,it is not filthy for the sake of it. Do not expect it to be titilating. I found it quite harrowing.
Meg Tilly is extraordinary in the way that she reads. When she is being Gemma, the subject of this book, I could really imagine her as a child, and I found myself willing her to breathe before she passed out from being so tearful and distressed. Meg also reads the part of Hasen Wood, the predatory misfit. There is no doubt that he is a disturbing individual, but somehow I felt some sympathy for him, and his situation.
Gemma is a gulible, naive little girl who has already led a difficult life at the hands of her self centred, alcoholic mother and her boyfriend. When she is sold to Hasen Woods for his sexual gratification her life spirals out of her control,and she suffers beatings, humiliation and degradation.
The story goes on to explain how she is liberated from her tormentor and is then helped through the difficult legal system, and the traumas of coping with her experiences, with the help of a female detective and her husband.
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