Mira, $13.95, 394 pages
It is a housewife’s impossible fantasy brought to life in excruciating detail when one woman is brought to the brink of exasperation and then the unthinkable happens: a carjacker kidnaps her. Gilly, an unlikable, angry, depressed housewife, is at first relieved to be away from her monstrous young children. Then there are moments when she seems to acutely miss her normal life that tug the reader to reluctantly root for her. As Gilly tailspins into depression, the male kidnapper, Todd, seems improbably hell bent on saving her from herself. However the only purpose this seems to serve is to keep him oblivious to his own depressing past.
This novel was completely devoid of humor in any form. Gilly in fact spent the entire novel biting her cheek because she had deemed laughter in her situation to be inappropriate. While a Stockholm syndrome romance could have been interesting, this particular novel dwells too much on depressing mundane activities. The writing is sharp and the descriptions gripping, but two people trapped together for an indefinite period of time drowning their sorrows in each other’s misery ultimately results in depressing the reader. All in all, a kidnapper romance is a difficult concept to write, more difficult to romanticize, and apparently equally challenging to keep the reader actively engaged. Few stories can be carried for 394 pages with only two characters trapped alone in isolated cabin and still remain interesting. This is not one of them.
Reviewed by Rachelle Barrett