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Publisher's Summary

Gemma is the story of a child abduction written from two widely divergent points of view: 12 year-old Gemma and Hazen Wook, the 36-year-old man who abducts her. Hazen is a violent pedophile, a sexual obsessive, and Tilly does not white-wash or sanitize his thoughts in any way. This book is scary and not for the faint of heart.
©2006 Meg Tilly; (P)2006 Meg Tilly

Critic Reviews

"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)

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Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    88
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall

wow

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Powerful but VERY disturbing!

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • Banner, WY, USA
  • 09-01-08

So you think your day was bad.

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kim
  • Spokane, WA, United States
  • 11-14-11

Disturbing but if you can take it...........

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Disappointing ending

As in Meg Tilly's "Singing Songs" this story leaves the reader wondering how the story ends??????????? Great listen but a very disappointing ending

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kim
  • Plano, TX, USA
  • 09-08-08

This one will stay with you.

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.





3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Outstanding!

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • donna
  • Lake Orion, MI, United States
  • 09-02-08

graphic fantastic

wow, what a story. You start wishing for redemption in any form for the broken child. The story has simple metaphores,for the complex subject matter. If you liked "The Lovey Bones" you will like this.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Alan
  • Gaston, OR, United States
  • 08-28-08

Outstanding audio performance

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Nichole
  • Pawtucket, ri, United States
  • 03-22-13

sickening

What did you love best about Gemma?

I read the reviews-I was looking intentionally for something good, disturbing, riveting, and a quick read....careful what you wish for, I guess. This book was so utterly disgusting, because it tells you exactly what the pedophile is thinking...exactly...and the most disturbing part was that even at the end of the book, the pedophile still doesn't understand that he is wrong-oh so cruelly wrong!!! That is the part that got to me, the part I'll always remember, and the reason why I can' ever recommend this book, though I thought it was good-it is too good, it is too true, despite being a novel....the little girl gemma, despite the sickening abuse and torment at the hands of her mom's boyfriend and the pedophile who kidnaps her, she still remains childlike, naiive, carefree....it is as if she is totally aware of the abuse, but forgets it immediately after she steps through the doors of her school....the way we read books to escape from work, she goes to school to escape from her crappy life.it is like she doesn't even remember the abuse by the time she is out of school-not until it begins again that night.ugh...it totally captures a child's internal dialogue, and it is sickening...it is sickening because it reminds me of the friends I had as a child, who later admit as teenagers they had been abused similarly-yet looking back as a child, I can only recall them being happy. I never stopped to consider they were only happy because they were having fun at my house away from the nightmare...that is what this book exposes...the secret life of abused children.

What about Meg Tilly’s performance did you like?

as annoying as it was to listen to her performance of gemma-rapid, unyielding, honest...it was kinda refreshing too.because as the story continues, you WANT to forget that this is a LITTLE GIRL.but the narrator performs the little girl voice with a little girls pace...realistically, albeit annoyingly-but hey, if you've ever listened to a little girl prattle on, you know meg tilly NAILED it.i really appreciated how she read normally for the narration of the adults-though it was rather sickening the way she captured the internal dialogue of the pedophile so perfectly....ugh....southern accents and bad grammar, meg tilly did a fantastic job.she read it so seamlessly, even the toungue twisting lines that I'd have to read 2 or 3 times were I not listening to an audio book.perfect.i just wish little girls didn't sound so annoying-but hey, it is true, this is how they talk!the best part of the performance was when she played gemma on trial...this is where you could really hear meg tilly's vocal talent as a narrator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-08-13

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.

  • Overall
  • Emma
  • 04-17-12

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.