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Publisher's Summary

Brilliant, unconventional college senior Trace Pennington has eked out an impoverished, solitary, but highly functional existence in the years since she ran away from her abusive home. But when Trace finds love with a much older man, her life is upended and she's forced to face herself and her past.

After recovering a horrific, long-suppressed memory, she discovers that much of her present-day life is a carefully constructed delusion. With equal parts genius and psychosis, Trace copes with the fallout from a brutal, bizarre childhood in a heart-stopping story that explores both the terror and wonder of mental illness.

©2008 Haven Kimmel; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America

Critic Reviews

"Kimmel skillfully weaves together Trace's lucid moments and her diminishing sanity, providing a full picture of a troubled woman whose identity, past and present are repeatedly called into question." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Leslie
  • Elk Point, SD, USA
  • 01-14-09

Wonderful, complex read

This is a very compelling, complex, and interesting read. The point of view switch from 1st to 3rd to deliniate from Trace's narration and the narrator was brilliant, and the author's references to archetypal criticism compells me to go back and reread Jung and Hillman. I thoroughly enjoyed the writer's self narration. This book haunted me while listening as much as the protagonist's past haunts her.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

the work of a genius

Haven Kimmel is a literary genius and this novel may not be fully understood in one reading, or listening. But attempting to do so is infinitely rewarding and exciting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not so Zippy

I love Haven Kimmel's writing and was excited to find one of her books that had escaped me. While the book was entertaining, I found the story hard to follow. At its conclusion many things came together, but it wasn't her typical style.

Don't judge Ms. Kimmel solely on this book as her others are far better!

  • Overall
  • Garry
  • Colorado Springs, CO, USA
  • 09-24-08

Disjointed Text, Awful Narration

The Book: the first sentence of this book starts out "I never had sex with my father but I would have, if he had agreed." I almost turned it off then, but decided to give it a legitimate listen. After about an hour and a half, I just couldn't continue. I found the plot extremely hard to follow and there didn't seem to be much of a point to the whole thing.

I recognize that the intent was to convey the fractured mental state of the main character, but there were many instances where the author would stop in the middle of a sentence and pick up with a completely different train of thought. It just made it very difficult to follow.


The Narration: This had to be the worst narration of a book I have ever experienced. The author took it upon herself to narrate the book. One might think that even add to the flavor of the story seeing as how the author should be more familiar than any hired voice with the subject matter, but every word felt forced, as though she was both reading from a script for the very first time and was only semi-literate. There was absolutely no flow or rhythm to the narration. It was very choppy, broken, and distracting. Please! Don't take my word on the delivery, listen to the available sample and judge for yourself.

I have never not finished an audio-book that I have started until now. Ultimately, it was just too painful to continue. The overall tone was very dark and the mood was completely depressing. I don't believe that even once, in the hour and a half that I invested, any character experienced even one happy or non-depressing thought. I couldn't justify finishing this book.

4 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not as good as her others

Didn't love this at all. Have thoroughly enjoyed 3 other books by Haven Kimmel but just couldn't get into this one.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful