My Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
I would have liked this story much more if there was more character depth and history going on, though I did like it, empathized with the characters (even Andi and her crappy family) and wanted to read through to the end. A little more angst would have been even better, as it seems Della and Kallie’s feelings were sublimated into the furniture issue rather than made larger by Kallie not having furniture (i.e. her empty house/heart) and Della being the one to fill her heart/house.
That’s not to say the author didn’t know what she was writing about–it’s obvious she understands the emotional turmoil for so many people victimized by domestic violence. My issues with the novel are of a technical nature, as the story felt rushed and the deeper emotions skimmed over.
I would read more by this author, as I believe this is her first book. 😀
After Kallie Moran’s husband, Aaron, is killed in Iraq, Kallie asks her law firm to transfer her back to her home town so she can be close to her mother.
When her request is granted, she realizes that closeness to her mother also means closeness to her mother’s dreadful sister, Bessie Benson.
Bessie is loud and crass, and her sons make a lifestyle of rotating in and out of the county jail. The only Benson that Kallie has ever been able to tolerate is her cousin, Andi. Andi, too, once dreamed of getting out of Brookville, but unlike Kallie, she never quite made it.
Now an out lesbian, Andi drags her intimidated partner, Della, to local bars and out-of-control family affairs. Della seems so miserable that Kallie finds herself reaching out to this beautiful, fragile-looking woman who just doesn’t seem to belong among the Bensons.
As Kallie and Della become friends, Kallie witnesses the verbal and emotional abuse Andi heaps on Della. Then comes the terrible night when Andi is no longer able to confine herself to words and slams Della to the ground, permanently scarring her face.
Della flees to Kallie for protection. In relative safety, she struggles to face the fact that she is a victim of lesbian domestic violence. She is also falling hard for Kallie, her rescuer.
Kallie, meanwhile, is keeping some secrets of her own. She wants to be with Della as much as Della wants to be with her, but she is afraid to embark on her first lesbian relationship.
Their love blossoms when Kallie risks her life to save Della from another of Andi’s vicious attacks. But it doesn’t take Andi long to realize she’s been betrayed. Furious, drunk, and carrying her father’s hand gun, she vows that this time she will REALLY make Della and Kallie pay.