A young teens fears move forward in the present as we see what causes her paranoia and unrest. Lucia shares in her own way the abuse she received at the hands of her father and a mother who turns a blind eye. The prologue sets the stage for what is revealed and experienced years later as the emotional scars never healed, the disconnect she wanted with her family and a father who would not let go. Take the journey along with Lucia and meet Obsidian, Gyb and her group of supportive friends as she takes it One step at a time.
Lucia is afraid to be alone and even traveling she requires support with company or a phone buddy assuring her if her safety. Not only was she abused by her father but her ex Pat who made her feel inferior and unworthy.
Lucia’s story is told in many ways as she struggles within herself for her identity all the time haunted by her father, his refusal to disconnect with her as if he feels he owns her in some way.
Ob has a breakdown at the graveyard and this scene shows that Lucia forgets her own struggles and hopes to help him and talk him out of hurting himself. But things change between them and even going to the Rainbow Room where the rest of the group often meets, Ob seems distant towards her. Things take on many different turns when she realizes that her job is in jeopardy because the hours are cut, and she now must find something else. Meeting Ian changes other dynamics and learning who to trust is not easy for her.
Several young men make inappropriate passes at her and at times she deals with them and others she cowers in fear.
Lucia deals with many different moods and must change jobs in order not to be found by her father who seems to have hired someone to find her. She needs to find support and although she has a counselor and tries support groups, no one seems to really help her and point her in the right direction. The shelters and their staff seem disconnected and although her friends suggest that she embellish her fears, for some reason she will not lie. Even resorting to changing her name, moving to different places she still has a fear and her concerns are not unfounded.
The years wear on and her life changes in many directions as her friends leave her some for other jobs, some because she realizes their betrayals and deceptions and one because he does not need her anymore. Jobs change, her life takes on different turns but throughout it all Lucia still fears the fear of her father coming down on her. The support groups help to a point, different jobs and people she meets try in their own way to guide, but when she finally takes the steps and goes to the police, puts herself on a list for counselling something triggers within Lucia and then a turnaround occurs.
Her true friends are few and some that she thought she could trust she needed to change. Working with the children and volunteering seems to center her but changing her name, her identity was supposed to give her some peace, but it did not.
Some felt she should lie or exaggerate her need for help while for some reason Lucia could not do this yet changing her addresses and her jobs, dealing with meager funds and little or no family for support, Lucia takes us on her journey from 2003 to 2021 from 13 to 29 and yet when you hear her voice it seems that she still in her own mind is that young frightened teen.
Physical problems that develop, unanswered questions and then Lucia hears back from the court after filing papers and her father never attended the hearing. Where does this leave her and when will she stop being plagued? At times she appears to be more self-confident and refuses to let others lead or control her way and yet she often goes backwards.
In order to control her life, she decides to go to college and become the one person that she needs a counsellor helping others deal with the same abuse and difficulties that she endured. A degree would be paramount, a job in the field hopefully will strengthen her but not every turn is in the right direction.
The issue of parental abuse both verbal and physical plus control over someone’s body is paramount in this book as each character that we meet struggles with some form of abuse, self-esteem issues and lack of courage to continue. Lives change, her friends leave her and Lucia has to decide in the end: that kindness matters, trust is important and as she hopes to journey forward, find her niche and place in this world as she and others need to speak out for themselves and hope that their lives with take a more positive turn.
Meeting a teacher in college named Michael a professor that she was able to confide in and another named Elda that taught her and others the meaning of friendship, being kind to others and being friends with everyone, Lucia when she decided to become herself again, learned many lessons but in the end she moves on many more times. Living with Tilly for a while, losing Ob as her rock, Gab is no longer there at times and many others fall to the side she meets with Jim and the mountains embrace her and where will she wind up next and will she realize that she is not an adult, has nothing to fear but fear itself as author Laura O’Shea takes readers along the journey with Lucia as she still has more to go and more to survive ONE STEP AT A TIME!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews