by Tarryn Fisher
Published: April 5, 2014
When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat... and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.
I would like to write a novel that every, single person loves, but not even J.K. Rowling could do that. Instead, I try to write stories that pull on people's emotions. I believe that sadness is the most powerful emotion, and swirled with regret the two become a dominating force. I love villains. Three of my favorites are Mother Gothel, Gaston and the Evil Queen who all suffered from a pretty wicked case of vanity (like me). I like to make these personality types the center of my stories.
I love rain, Coke, Starbucks and sarcasm. I hate bad adjectives and the word "smolder". If you read my book-I love you. If you hate my book-I still love you, but please don't be mean to me; I'm half badass, half cry baby.
Where do you start a review about a book that has a totally misleading cover (BDSM anyone?), one that you hated in the beginning, but ultimately loved in the end, one where you can’t relate to the protagonist, nor can you find anything likeable or remotely redeemable about her, other than she’s a writer (but then she writes a bestseller in three weeks -BITCH- and then you hate her again…)
This is a fascinating, confusing, infuriating, beautifully told, deeply dark story that is not a happy one. There is no humor, no sex, and no characters that are really likeable. That being said, it’s a great book. It’s unputdownable, though you have no idea what the hell is going on for like, 95% of the story.
Senna wakes up in an unfamiliar house, groggy and obviously drugged, realizing she’s been kidnapped. She’s completely terrified as she explores the house, where she discovers the home is occupied by only one other person; her ex-lover/ former doctor who is now married and expecting a child, bound to a bed made from carousel parts they once made love on. But he’s not her kidnapper.
Still with me?
They discover that the house is surrounded by nothing but miles and miles of snow, and the only way out is the front door, with a keypad code they don’t know. The house is also stocked with enough food and supplies to last for quite a while. As they wait for their abductor to surface, the story goes back and forth between past and present to let you into Senna’s psyche. She’s a cancer survivor, a rape victim, a deeply troubled, emotionally stunted woman who does not trust, know how to love, or let anyone in. And sometimes she’s a complete asshole for no reason.
The story is essentially the day to day survival of Isaac and Senna in this remote cabin, and the great questions of WHY and WHO would have done this to them, knowing she’s in remission and he’s expecting a baby any day. Each chapter unveils a puzzle piece to the mystery, as it unravels who the characters are. There’s even a random POV from Senna’s ex-boyfriend, whom the reader is only told tiny bits about, but comes to understand Senna more through him.
Without giving up the plot and the mysteries that unfold, there is something to be said about a book with unlikeable characters, and a slow moving plot, that actually keeps you on your toes until the very end and still you’re like, what the hell did I just read? This is horrible, but it's fantastic!!
This book is a mind fuck. It’s really well written, suspenseful, and while basic at the core, unbelievably complex. I hated it, I loved it, and I admire the author for having the balls to write this.