I am Her & This is me by Sarah Ann Walker Book Review
Saturday, November 9, 2013
A sometimes funny, tragically graphic, compelling tale of a woman suffering...
***WARNING- GRAPHIC CONTENT and THEMES ***
She has no name of her own. She is every name everyone has ever called her. She is nameless. She has a good job, a beautiful home and a wonderful husband. She is everything she was supposed to be. She has structure and stability, but she is lost.
She is trying. Her whole life is spent trying; yet her whole life has been nothing but an apology. She is so tired of trying and failing.
In just one week, she learns her entire life is a series of brutalities. She learns intense, consuming passion for the first time with a beautiful stranger. She learns love within this passion, and she learns heartbreak while without.
Slowly her breakdown overcomes her. She tries to rise above her circumstances, but when she has nothing left to fight with; she tries to ease the pain forever.
Desperately, she fights her way through the agony of life, and she returns with a gentle hope. She wants to live, and she wants to love, for the first time in her life. Now, she has a name. Now, she can be 'her'... Any HER that she wants to be.
Sarah Ann Walker was raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where she attended McMaster University, as an English major. After beginning her career in 2002- a career as an office administrator, polar-opposite to her studies, Sarah met and married her American husband, and they chose to remain in Canada together. Sarah continued her career, giving birth to their only child in 2005, spending 9 years with the same company, until leaving in 2011.
In the summer of 2012, during a manic 2-week period, Sarah was transformed into the main character of 'I am HER...'. The novel was horrific, engrossing, graphic, painful and beautiful at once, and Sarah found herself consumed with the struggle, madness and passion of the main character's amazing story. Sarah's first book, 'I am HER...' and second book 'THIS is me...' have received positive reviews both locally and online from her readers. Sarah can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and goodreads.com where her readers can leave reviews and feedback. Sarah looks forward to hearing from her readers.
Last weekend I posted on our Facebook page "what's the last 5 star book you read?" A few of our followers gave GLOWING comments about I am her by sarah ann walker. So naturally I one clicked this one and moved it up to my reading list that weekend. Let me start by saying I was an emotional roller coaster after reading this one. To all my followers that recommended this one to me I can't thank you guys enough. This SERIES had to be one of the best I've read this year. Both books get more than five stars from me. ** Please note this series isn't for the faint of heart. This series is a very dark and emotional read! **
This is the story of a young woman named Suzanne. When this story begins Suzanne's character comes off as a woman who is neglected at home. She throws herself into her work, tries to please everyone and cringes at the thought of her home life (especially sex with her husband). Apparently a change in her behavior is being noticed by all parties involved (co workers and hubby), she is a giggler now and this unusual behavior has everyone concerned.
Her life changes through a series of emails for an account now being taken over by "Z" aka mr. Zinfandel. The relationship these two develop over email and through a few phone calls is creepy in the beginning but not going to lie hot at moments also. Z's character is one of a protector. Through Suzanne's voice alone he recognizes a woman's out cry for help, he just has to make her see she needs it.
As this book progress we see Suzanne's life take a turn for the worst. Maybe the use of the word worst isn't strong enough. I've read books with women who have serious psychological issues but this one takes the cake! Suzanne suffers from a ruptured anyrusum ( yes that explains the craziness in behavior lately I guess) which in turn opens up a whole new can of worms called HER LIFE!
Suzanne's story is a hard one to read. She is the victim of childhood rape. Her husband is a cheating asshole, and her parents are some of the cruelest people/characters I've read. Due to her brain injury her repressed memories of growing up and what she endured are all coming back full circle. Thank goodness for great friends new and old. Z's love and the lengths this man was willing to go to make her better was breath talking. She is so broken it's heart wrenching. At moments throughout this book I honestly didn't know if she would be able to find a way to fully function amongst the outside world.
Majority of the secondary characters in this book I loved. What came to be known as her close circle of friends were amazing characters to read. To see how much they loved and cared for her was great. Not going to lie moments in this book I wanted to yell at some of the choices/decisions she made but I had to always remember she is the victim. Suzanne's character started off as a woman that was weak/broken down by life's events but in the end her progression to regain control of herself/life was awesome.
This book was an amazing emotional read. The ending left me with a serious WTH moment! Great job mrs. Walker!
Finally... She has a name. She has a past and she has a history. She knows who she is. And she knows who she wanted to be. She knows the way to all she ever wanted, but she knows she can't change the past that destroyed her.
"I swear I'm here, but I'm not. I swear I can feel, but I don't. I swear I hear people, but I'm all alone. Where am I? What have I done?"
If everything you knew was nothing you know, how do you begin to live again? When beautiful dreams surround you but darkness consumes you, how do you begin to live anew?
"After I exhale, I turn to my empty room once again. In the silence that follows my tears, I am washed in clarity. I am NOT her. THIS is me..."
Ok ok so after my near nervous breakdown with book one I had to one click book 2 ASAP.
*if you haven't read book 1 please stop reading this review now. Go to your nearest book site and get started! *
At the end of book 1 I swear my mind was going a million miles a minute. All I could think was...omg but we've come so far (yes I said we as if I was going through this emotional drama right along with Suzanne). As we know when book 1 ended Suzanne was finally about to start a happy life (hopefully) with Z, but she is in a fatal car accident on the way to meet one of the Kayla's for lunch. At this point I'm seriously screaming, geez this poor woman can't even catch a break. My goodness if I thought book one was an emotional mess this one was equally the same amount of emotional stress.
My heart not only broke for Suzanne but it broke for her circle of friends also. In the beginning of this one Suzanne is in a coma/ dream state. She doesn't recall any of her friends but she does remember bits/pieces of her previous life. Let me clarify, she remembers being married to Marcus and being happy. Omg talk about relapse! When she finally wakes up she is scared and distant. This is frustrating for her as well as all involved. I can't even imagine what all involved must have been feeling.
Of course Mack being Mack is the rock of this group. As this book plays out Slowly Suzanne's memories being to come back but she is a different person. She is still broken and has relapsed from what she was once able to accomplish therapy wise. Her dog of a hubby doesn't make matters any better. To be honest at one point in book 1 I felt bad for Marcus but I swear that feeling was completely displaced after reading the truth behind his actions. My goodness the saying death/near death experiences can either bring out the worst or best in people rings so true. For many involved in this one trust me it was the WORST that came out! Many scenes in this book put me in the mind of something BD always tells me....choose your words carefully because once you say them you can't take them back. Some of the tempers that flared in this one made me cringe honestly.
As Suzanne is dealing with her relapse she also must deal with the fact she is expecting. Yes as in expecting a baby. Her reaction to this utterly left me speechless. I had to seriously take a moment and re read this scene. My heart honestly broke for Z because to say Suzanne was being a BITCH is an understatement. But again doesnt she have a right to be?
Despite how hard she attempted to push everyone away, they never gave up on her ever including Z. There were moments I was for sure he was going to cut his loses, but he is utterly a great man. More of Suzanne's past is revealed in this book and I wish I can say it gets better but it doesn't. As she states at one point during this one 'I was born into this'. We get a closer look at the why all this potentially happens to her growing up. I've always been told you are a product of your environment.
Not going to lie I had a proud/disappointed relationship with Suzanne in this one. She struggled so much with the thought of bringing a child into this world it was heart breaking. It was as if her feelings/emotions ceased to exist. I remember thinking while reading this one, please come back to us (yes I said us as if I was a part of those involved with her life's drama). As if there wasn't already enough pain/heartbreak to last all involved a lifetime,things seem to go from bad to worst. My mom has always said no one can ever truly understand the lose of a child, like a mother can. Well in this case going to say They both where effected on different levels. This scene had me crying my eyes out but it made me fall in love with Z even more. He finally called her out on her shit, out of love of course.
Out of all the pain, heartbreak and darkness there has to be some light right? This series was a dark/emotional read. Mrs. Walker hit on some very tough topics. I will say I couldnt have asked for a better ending. Through all the darkness and pain Suzanne finally learns to fight for herself and the happiness she deserves.