A prologue so chilling you wonder what was going through the mind of the victim of man whose voice justifies his actions. “if only you,” did not do what? Olivia finds herself in a hospital bed waking up from being in a coma and has no idea who she is or what her life is about. Confused, disoriented, frightened and unable to speak or articulate, Olive depends on nurse Sarah and the doctor in charge of her case to help her piece it back together again. Like a jigsaw puzzle before the pieces are placed and fit together in the frame, the framework of her mind is disjointed, fragmented and needs to relearn and regain her past life. The mother of two girls, supportive mom named Sophie and a soon to be ex-husband Monty are the key to her memories. But fragments of her past come through in nightmares and the face of a man comes through but just who he is she has no idea.
As Olivia meets with Monty to talk about the divorce, her memory of events that preceded it flood back as the author shares the night they went out for dinner and he asked for the divorce in a restaurant that was supposed to be special to them. Added in he puts her down, claims she does not see things that clearly and the final statement that he met someone sends her in tears. Monty had it all planned out and now Olivia must revisit the divorce papers, remember her lawyer and hopefully get the settlement she deserves to make sure she and her daughters are well cared for. But Monty has other ideas, and the reader realizes that he is not what he seems and that there are underlying secrets about to be revealed.
Her stay in the hospital gave her comfort and security and knowing she was leaving did not make her feel safe. Learning more about what might have happened and the fact it was not an accident but an attack upon her by an unknown person, Olivia needs to be cautious when at time and certain safety protocols must be in place all the time.
Hunter Faraday investigates Niles, and we learn history, his failings and the hidden alliance he has with Monty over the years. Truths come out as Olivia remembers the night she was raped and drugged and sees the hidden face became known. But will she finally act or aim against this person? What happens when Monty shows up with henchmen that claim he owes them a huge amount of money? Olivia finally takes aim and stands up to them, but will they back off?
Serena and Lilly want them to get back together but even though they realize and see what he is doing they want to be a family again, but Olivia needs to focus, see him for what he really is and move ahead if possible. When the truth comes out about what happened to her first born, who was to blame and the physical abuse she took from Monty and mental too, author Kerry Peresta takes us inside the mind and actions of a sick, delusional and controlling man who thinks he owns his soon to be ex-wife and retains battering privileges and more.
Monty is not a wonderful person not even endearing to Kristen his 25-year-old girlfriend who does not understand why he must hide their relationship at work and why he will remain there. Will she realize that she might be a temporary distraction? He is anyone that you can truly count on.
The author flashes briefly to before this happened and we get to know Olivia along with her mother when she tries to encourage her to take a stronger stand with Monty who left her for a younger woman and has threatened to take away her home and much more if Olivia does not stand up for herself.
The ending and the shocking reveal about what he had hidden from her, what her destination and outcome will be is shocking. Lies, betrayals, a priest named Father Henry who revealed a hidden alliance and the core of what Monty had hidden from her, will Olivia finally open her eyes to the truth and rid herself of him forever? Her mother and Dr. Sturgis are supportive and want her to understand something clearly at last and lift the mist and fog from her eyes and see clearly.
The memories are few, her speech starts to slowly come back, and Detective Hunter Faraday comes into her life and wants to help find who did this to her and take away some of her pain. We understand that Olivia is kind, a good mother but when it comes to standing up for herself she runs short. She loves flowers, gardens and in a brief conversation with Monty we learn that as he stated she aims to please.
Things spiral way out of control when Monty decides that his girlfriend might be in the way of getting what he wants from Olivia. Pretending to care about her yet belittling her in every way claiming she is passive, yielding, shy and accommodating and cannot function without him, finally stirs the pot and anger in her. But will it last?
Within the time in the hospital, we meet Sarah her nurse, Dr. Sturgis her neurologist and a staff that really pulls it together as they consider her their Mercy Miracle. When she finally speaks and can communicate her two daughters and mother arrive to support her recovery, but Olivia has no idea who they are or about her past. Slowly and surely some things come back but as fast as they flood in the pieces of the puzzle slip away and go outside of the frame of the jigsaw and need more time to fit in place.
Lives will never be the same. Outcomes change and decisions must take time. Olivia is pieces it together but the outcome and the final pieces of the puzzles and her memory still need time. Will she decide that Detective Faraday is going to be in her life? Will she take it slow and get herself back to being herself? What about the friendship with Callie and her old friends will they continue to support her?
This novel brings to light what happens when someone is vulnerable, feels unworthy and made to feel inadequate, and loneliness that could cause wrong alliances. Why did she go to Richmond? What happens when the memory floods back and she learns the harsh reality and truth?
Olivia Callahan: What direction will she travel and go in? What is next for her? Will she overcome the feeling of being THE DEADENING meaning vapid of spiritless?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews