From the back cover:
What do you do when your husband hits you?...When your father only thinks of you as Daddy's good girl?...When your little son looks at you with tears in his eyes and asks you why you're taking him away from home in the middle of the night? If you're Susan Kidd, you forge a new identity for yourself and leave the past behind.
Like countless women who have made the wrong choices, loved the wrong men, let other people direct their lives, Susan decided to take control of her future. Bright, determined and hardworking, she had the courage to believe she could succeed. This is her story--it is your story--for in one way or another, we are all...Becoming.
And my review:
I was a little wary of buying this book, since I hadn't liked ADMIT DESIRE by the same author. But since it was only 50 cents, I decided to take the chance. I'm glad that I did.
This is the story of a battered wife learning to start over. And while the book is labeled "contemporary romance", the romance aspect of it is only a very small portion of the book. In fact, the reader doesn't even get to meet the hero until page 250! For a 400 page book, that's not very much time for a romance.
And that's where the book lost one star. The romance felt very tacked on at the end. The character of the hero was only very briefly sketched. I never really felt like I knew him. Rather than showing us their relationship, the author decided to just tell us that they are in love, a mere five pages after they meet. Sorry, but I don't find it realistic just because you say it's so! I like to really see and feel the love between the two characters. I didn't here. I suspect that the author was working under a page restriction, and couldn't develop the romance the way she might have liked to. Once I got past my "as if they could be in love so quickly without even knowing each other at all" attitude, the struggles of the heroine to learn to trust again were well portrayed.
The rest of this book was very well done. The character of the heroine was well drawn. Her motivations and fears and the way her past had shaped her was shown through flashbacks and introspection by the heroine. I also liked that the author delved into the relationship of the heroine's parents, showing how their attitudes had shaped the heroine, and bringing healing to their relationship (with each other and with their daughter) as well.
The author also did a good job of showing what had shaped the abusive husband. Not that she ever excused his actions, but she showed how violence can be passed down from parent to child without ever being preachy about it. The husband was more than just a caricature; he was a person as well. It made the heroine's struggle to be free of him while still caring for him feel more real to me.
One minor complaint I had was that I felt that the heroine's son was too good to be true. This kid never complained, never got scared, never threw a tantrum...for an eight-year-old dragged away from everything he's ever known...well, I just found it a little hard to believe. Not that I don't believe there aren't great kids out there, but at least one moment of bad temper from this kid would have made him more realistic. After all, he's only human, and a child to boot. I would have had a hard time accepting leaving my home at eight years old to live in a crummy apartment and away from my grandparents and all my friends. But that's minor complaint.
To sum it up, this was a good book for illustrating the pain domestic abuse and alcoholism wrecks on entire families, and an inspiration to women to get out of those situations. As a romance, it was a bit weak, so if you want your standard romance novel, this is not it. However, this was still a good read, and I do recommend it.