What happens when a young girl raised in a Catholic family in the 1950, gets married at a young age. She has no idea the relationship is in trouble from the beginning. Jack has drunken rages followed by remorse the next morning and scenes of escalating violence witnessed by the children too terrified to say anything because they might be the next victim. This was a hard to put down book and it held my interest. I stayed awake late at night and then kept reading the next morning till I was done.
Very, very good read. I read it in two days.
I enjoyed reading this book from start to end.
Good book. LOVED the ending.
I sat and read this in one night. It captivated me from the beginning.
Raised in a large, loving, closely-knit Irish Catholic family living in Vermont, Valerie O'Connor is a sheltered and innocent young woman who comes of age during the 1950s. At the age of eighteen, Valerie meets and falls desperately in love with twenty-five-year-old Jack Marsh - a handsome, dashing Korean War veteran and a member of the Air Force. Valerie has been raised with the belief that a wife is subservient to her husband and a mother must keep her family together no matter what. However, little does she know that she is about to begin a relationship that is doomed from the start.
Jack Marsh is a damaged man; a man whose inner demons cause him to take his fears and insecurities out on his wife and five children. During their many years of marriage, Valerie has learned to say nothing when Jack, now an airline mechanic, arrives home after midnight, silent and emotionally distant. She ignores the shirts that smell of strange perfume and the handkerchiefs smeared with suspicious lipstick stains. She endures without complaint the bouts of drunken rage, the sudden bursts of violence, the morning after scenes of devastatingly sincere, choking remorse.
And, whatever the consequences, Valerie will never discuss such private issues with her children; who are themselves too terrified to speak lest they become their father's next victims. To make matters worse, Jack moves Valerie and their children all the way across the country, taking Valerie away from her family, isolating her from the very people who know her and care for her the most. Too proud too ask for help or to admit her failure as a wife and a mother, Valerie is unable to protect either herself or her children from Jack's increasingly visible and physically violent rages.
As they grow up, the five Marsh children will carve out their own very different futures. One by one, pushed to the extreme, the children will manage to escape their fractured home. In one fashion or another, each child will ultimately leave, until they are all gone - even Ricky, the youngest son and the one who is perhaps the most troubled. The only one left is Jack, and Valerie finally must face the reality of her marriage and her life.
And then, as if out of the ashes, another generation begins. Will history repeat itself? Valerie's children worry, and even though they have successfully escaped their dysfunctional family, they will never escape the devastating effects it has had on each of their lives. This is a powerful story of a marriage begun with the best of intentions, but cursed by a legacy of violence that will have shocking consequences - a story that resonates with us all.
I absolutely loved this book; couldn't put it down. In my opinion, Susan R. Sloan is an excellent writer. This is only the third book by Ms. Sloan that I've read, but it most certainly not be the last one that I read. I give this book an A+! - if I could give it an A+++!, I most certainly would! :)
One of the best, well written books I've read!
raised in a large,loving Irish Catholic family,Valerie O'Connor is a sheltered and innocent young woman who comes of age in the 1950s. When,at the age eighteen,she meets and falls deeply in love with Jack Marsh,a dadhing veteran of the Air Force,she has no idea that she is about to begin a relationship that is doomed from the start. Their many years of marriage are filled with Jack's drunken rages followed by morning-after remose,and scenes of escalating violence witnessed by children too terrified to speak out lest they become Jack's next victims.