New Audiobook Review: The Girl Before

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Rated 4 of 5 stars

I have been really lucky with books lately. If I give another 4 stars, I’m going to start questioning my ability to be fair (or praising my ability to choose books?). Either way, Rena Olsen wrote another book that took my brain on a lap around the WTF pool. Here’s a synopsis:

Clara Lawson is torn from her life in an instant. Without warning, her home is invaded by armed men, and she finds herself separated from her beloved husband and daughters. The last thing her husband yells to her is to say nothing.

In chapters that alternate between past and present, the novel slowly unpeels the layers of Clara’s fractured life. We see her growing up, raised with her sisters by the stern Mama and Papa G, becoming a poised and educated young woman, falling desperately in love with the forbidden son of her adoptive parents. We see her now, sequestered in an institution, questioned by men and women who call her a different name—Diana—and who accuse her husband of unspeakable crimes. As recollections of her past collide with new revelations, Clara must question everything she thought she knew, to come to terms with the truth of her history and to summon the strength to navigate her future.

My Review:

Baaaabbbbbyyyyy….Clara Lawson will make you want to strangle her ass for about 70% of the story! We all know about abuse and that people react in different ways but you will be begging Clara to see reason for most of the book. Olsen’s writing is so superb that you’ll shed a tear, slap your knee in anger and feel a sigh of relief when memories outline Clara’s thinking and how she ended up in her current situation. Instead of thinking she is weak and naive, you’ll see her growth into a mature, strong and intelligent woman. I felt so good listening to this story even though I had been angry for hours at Clara and her husband Glen. I can’t tell you much about the plot as there are a few twists that you will see coming and others you may not. The structure of the story is done in alternating chapters of her past and present entitled ‘Then’ and ‘Now’. This is a triggering story for people that don’t want to hear about mental, physical and sexual abuse. Raging Book Reviews Recommended.

Raging Book Review Recommended

*Audiobook was purchased with my own money from Audible.

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