I need to talk about this book immediately. Well, without giving away any spoilers that is. And I have to be really careful with that because I might end up blabbing away the good part. I just finished reading this about 5 minutes ago (February 28) and I still haven’t picked up my jaw from the floor.
It’s still there; still in shock and still in awe of what I just read. Needless to say, I’m seriously impressed with this debut novel from author Lisa Hall.
Now, I’m not a big fan of British authors to be honest. I’ve never had much luck with them (and I’m not saying that every British author’s the same but so far, when it comes to mystery books, they’re pretty meh) and my experience weren’t at all fun and I had to endure the more-often-than-not boring pacing of their novels (think Paula Hawkins and Robert Galbrait aka J.K Rowling — yes, believe it or not).
So when I found out that this book was actually written by a British author, I was already in too deep so there was no going back for me anymore. Although, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much.
I couldn’t stop reading, even if I wanted to. This is why, today, right now, I’m incredibly tired and drowsy having sacrificed a few hours of sleep to at least get past half of the story.
Between You and Me is about domestic violence and abusive relationship, written in the point of view of both Sal and Charlie — a married couple who seems perfect, living a spot-free life with their daughter Maggie in a house in one of the suburbs in London.
Not known to many is what Sal had to endure from Charlie throughout the course of their relationship. All the abuse — verbal and physical. All the mindfuckery and manipulation. All the controlling and the bullying that Charlie had done to Sal… ugh, insane, I tell you.
From the get-go, all I ever felt for Charlie was rage. I was pissed off at what this lunatic has been doing to Sal and it makes my skin crawl every time I think about it. But since the book is written in the alternate views of both parties, I was also given the chance to read Charlie’s thoughts and what could possibly be going on in the brain of such an ass and how this person could possibly justify all this craziness.
In Charlie’s mind, everything that came to Sal — the silent treatments, the screaming, the physical pain, the abusive and demeaning words, every single one of those — were well-deserved. In Charlie’s mind, this is how you show love to your partner. In Charlie’s mind, well… just read the excerpt below.
Sal knows, and I know, that nothing will ever change. We go through the same old thing over and over again because Sal just doesn’t remember the rules – rules I don’t think are that difficult. It seems to me that Sal does things deliberately to break them, just in order to upset me.
And then I was also a little bit pissed off at Sal for allowing Charlie to get this hold on their relationship and their lives. I was pissed off at Sal for not leaving when there’s always a chance. I was pissed off at Sal that there were numerous chances to just put the foot down and call it quits.
But as with any abusive relationship, I know that leaving is never always that easy. It’s easier said than done, sure, especially if you’re on the out looking in. But Sal could have at least tried.
Again, I still understood and I still felt for the situation that Charlie has put them both — and Maggie — in. But the thought still irks me.
Just 4 chapters shy of the ending, I was already thinking that this book would be a lost cause. I mean, it’s so close to the end and I still haven’t figured out what that supposed twist is going to be. (And that’s just me thinking so highly of myself; thinking that I could deduce the twist of this story before it’s even revealed — HA! Not today, bitch!)
And then there it is. I had to read the part three times just to make sure I didn’t get it wrong and that I wasn’t missing anything. But nope, it’s that; it’s there and oh my god I was caught so off-guard that I was in shock for a good five minutes.
Amazing how a single book could make me feel this much. The emotions are just overflowing and I can’t seem to contain all of them for the time being. Between You and Me was a great read to cap off my February.
Check out my 2018 Reading Challenge — a growing list of books that I read this year.