Top critical review
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novel of codependency
on September 20, 2002
After reading the many glowing reviews of this book, i feel compelled to say "i disagree". I found this book disturbing and unsettling and feel Paige, the story's protagonist, was treated very abusively by her husband. What unfolds throughout this novel is a tale of co-dependency,despite the appearance of recovery at the denouement--motherless young woman runs away from home after an abortion only to marry and becomes pregnant by a stoic surgeon. When post partum depression strikes, she abandons her child and husband and sets off to find her mother. the two reconnect during a 3mo visit in which paige develops self respect and realizes she has to love herself if she is to truly love others.
Armed with new self awareness, she returns to her baby and husband, but is rudely rebuffed. at this point, i felt the character development COMPLETELY fell apart on ALL LEVELS making me lose interest in how the book would end; however, i kept slogging through, hoping she'd see the light (and a lawyer) to file for divorce and custody...Unfortunately, neither happens---she allows herself to be treated EXTREMELY disrespectfully by her husband, who slams doors (both literal and figurative) in her face, speaks harshly, and is emotionally abusive. In short, he is the same person he was before she left, while she is not. A real woman, armed with newfound self esteem would NOT tolerate these things, or say "i'll do whatever it takes to make him love me again",
that a female author would write this type of ending, disturbs me. harvesting the heart COULD have been a wonderful piece of women's literature--the writing style was excellent and structurally it was sound--but it sunk to romance novel level with this very weak cliche-ridden ending.
not at all what i've come to expect from penquin press.