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05 January 2013

Maggi Myers: The Final Piece

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This is one of the most emotionally moving books I have read for a long time and it is already in my list of best books for 2013. Any book about child abuse should be tough going, but Maggi Myers has softened the blow by writing about a girl's long term reactions to abuse by focussing on the help, love and support she was given by others.

Both of Beth's parents are cocaine addicts and gave her little love and support, and at 5 years of age a close family friend starts to sexually abuse her and this continues for the next 7 years. Her reaction was to shut herself off from the real world and hardly communicate with others. One day an adult family friend, Tommy, discovers the truth and attacks the abuser.

Beth then finds solace, love and support in her grandparents' home. Tommy is a frequent visitor with his nephew Ryan who is a couple of years older than Beth. She slowly opens up about the abuse to Tommy and they become close friends. She has a teenage crush on Ryan who is a couple of years older than her but is never able to open up to him.

When Beth goes to college she loses contact with both of them, but never forgets them. As an adult she is successful in business and while outwardly she seems well adjusted to her close friends, inside she is still wounded. Then her world comes crashing down when Tommy is killed in an auto accident with a drunken driver. She returns to the funeral and meets Ryan once again.

While Myers' character development was good I wanted to know more about Tommy and felt that there was too much assumption that a teenage crush would still smoulder 10 years later.

A very talented author said this in one of his books (which was full of tough emotions) "When you read, there are no limits; with a book you can bring vistas and textures and emotions to life that have a meaning to you and you alone."  In this book Maggi Myers has brought great emotions to life that have a meaning, not only to me but should have meaning to most readers. I highly recommend it.

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