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Publisher's Summary

Beyond Kathryn Lucas’ first memory of her father’s tree lay a dysfunctional path of violence, heartbreak, and secrets within a family severely entrenched in the vicious cycle of abuse. A lifetime of fear drives her from her home, and the teenage girl finds refuge with an aunt and uncle determined to protect their niece.

Distressing flashbacks unravel in Kathryn’s fragile mind among the turmoil encircling her as she struggles through adolescence and descends into her pain-ridden past. When the summation of her unsettling memories allows the darkness to overtake her, she becomes desperate to unearth the light.

Inspired by a true story, Kathryn must hold on tightly to those who love her, searching for her place in a world threatening to break her as she fights to overcome life’s betrayals before she is deprived of her future.

©2018 Kathy Moczerniak (P)2019 Lavish Publishing, LLC

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Be ready.


The biggest issue with this story was all the back and forth. Given there weren’t any real transitions from past to present or vice versa, there were a lot of times when I was confused as which era the story was in. I’m not sure I was a fan of Katherine. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been in a situation like hers or have known of anyone in a similar situation, but there were a lot of times when she came across as very selfish. For example, when her dad takes her out shopping. Yes, he was the one to invite her. But even with all his comments about how expensive the clothes she picked were, she still got all of them but like one shirt. Then after she’s back home, her brother’s friends are over and making a lot of noise. What does she do? She complains to her mom. Get over it! Why she didn’t tell her mother about the alcohol and smoking and all the people coming over was on her. God forbid her brother wants to have fun too. It’s not like it was a school night either.

I had to put this “Questionable” separate from the rest because it was a very big one, in my opinion. Katherine’s Claddagh ring. I don’t remember if it said how long she’s been wearing the ring, but it’s mentioned so many times throughout the story. Yet, why would the author have made it to where Katherine didn’t even know what the ring meant. It was one of her friends that told her the meaning. That just seemed strange to me.

The narrator was okay. I wasn’t so much a fan of the tone of voice she used. It was very mello. While she did a separate male and female voice, all the females sounded the same. So when Katherine was talking to one of her girlfriends or mother or aunt, a lot more of my focus had to be directed on the story so as to know who was talking.

I’m not sure how this was missed or how it even happened, but obviously someone was slacking when it came to checking the audiobook prior to publication. At the end of chapter 5, the narrator finishes the narrative, then says “Chapter 5: Understory.” At the end of chapter 6, the narrator says: “Chapter 6: The Calm Before the Storm.” BUT then she goes on to begin “A light drizzle began… Chapter 7 (insert title here).” It was really strange. After that, it was normal.

Another area with the narrating, in chapter 8 at 8 hrs 19 mins (per Audible), I didn’t make note of the specific wording or what was said, but the narrator was talking about one thing, then is suddenly talking about something totally different. It’s like she was in the middle of one word and began in a totally different spot. I’m not sure how else to describe it.

Now I don’t know if this next…issue…was the narrator faults (saying the wrong word) or the author’s (using the wrong word), or maybe this was a legit sentence. I wish I would have written down the exact sentence. Essentially, in chapter 10, when Katherine goes home, she pitches forward under the “acne” (ache?) that gripped her chest. Now if that is a legit sentence, what the author intended, um… That must have been some painful acne. LOL

OVERALL, I liked the story. It had a lot of issues, in my opinion, but it was interesting and emotional throughout. Not that I liked all the emotional stuff, but it was real. It gave the reader a glimpse into the taboo worlds of depression, sibling abuse. The title of the story kept popping into my head so I was curious to see if I could figure out how it related to the story. The ending with the tree connection was a creative idea.

Moving on to the fun stuff…

Questionable #1: Somewhere near the beginning, I think it was after Katherine went to her aunt and uncle’s house when Brandon broke into her room and chased her outside. There was the part when she was looking out of their windows sees that their cat had gotten hit by her uncle’s car. They then sit down and talk for a bit (not about the cat), then go out to eat.

Questionable #2: Speaking about the lack of transitions between the past and present, there’s a perfect example in chapter 7 when Katherine is on the phone with one of her friends. They’re talking about orchestra camp and suddenly the reader is taken back to when Brandon broke into Katherine’s room (in more detail). Yet no one had said anything about him or that night or the fact she was uncomfortable at home, so it was confusing as to why the author would have suddenly taken the reader on that specific trip.

Questionable #3: So after Katherine’s mom finds out the extent of what Brandon has been doing to Katherine, why does her mother never suggest he get help, like she’ll do whatever she can to get him help whether he wants it or not. There’s just her suggesting the lock on her door and redoing her room.

Questionable #4: Why when it’s time for Katherine to go home does she act like she lives far away from her aunt and uncle? They’re just down the street.

Questionable #5: Why did Katherine stay friends with Val for as long as she did? With all the scenes involving the two of them, there was never a time when Val came across as being a friend of Katherine's. Maybe an acquaintance but nothing more.

Questionable #6: What was the point of Katherine having the guinea pig? I mean even after her room is wrecked, she doesn’t check on the guinea pig to make sure it’s okay.

Questionable #7: Katherine ends up starting tenth grade. It’s now November and her mom tells her she can’t stay home from school because she’s missed so much already. Why had she been missing school?

Questionable #8: When Katherine’s therapist asks her if she knows what could be causing the depression, why did she never bring Liam up, like not unlike years later? I mean he was probably the catalyst.

Questionable #9: Katherine works with Aubree. They go to school together. Yet, Aubree asks how things are going between Katherine and her brother, which means she knew there were some fires between them. But Katherine tells her she has to avoid her brother as though that were something new and not what she’s been doing the last year and a half.

Questionable #10: When Katherine has a therapy session with her father there’s a part when she thinks “Looking back on it now as a sixteen-year-old…” She’s seventeen.

I received a free audiobook version of this story in exchange for an honest review.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Between a great story

This story by the author Kathy Moczerniak will grab your heart and make you wonder what is going on in life . The story will give you hope , and ask you do you actually see what is happening around you.
Heroine is Kathryn.
Kathryn has survived in a family filled with heartbreak , abuse and violence that the family tries to hide .
Kathryn needs to survived but she needs to find a way before it takes her life force, what she does is run away to her loving aunt and her uncle . They can’t believe what she went through.

The performance of Jennifer Bloom is good. Her voice is strong and smooth

1 person found this helpful