The silent sister

From  Andrea  Kalinowski

Author:  Diane  Chamberlain

Title:  The silent sister

“I know that the lies in our family hurt all of us, especially Danny and myself. Growing up in a household where something is terribly wrong, you feel the weight of that mysterious something even though it’s unspoken. It eats at you. Confuses you. It leaves you wondering if your view of the world will ever make sense.” The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain was an unexpected surprise hit with me. It was recommended to me by my sister-in-law. She could not stop reading the book and neither could I.

A young woman returns to her father’s house to clean out his home and to settle his estate. She thinks her only relative is her brother, who is perceived, by her and others, as being mentally ill. In the cleaning process, secrets of her sister’s suicide are unearthed and shed new light on the family dynamics. Lisa was seventeen when she committed “suicide” and it was this “suicide” which changed the family’s dynamic from a cohesive functioning family unit to a dysfunctional mishmash. Danny harbors his own resentments about Lisa’s familial role and the transformation that is wrought by her “suicide.” The discovery of newspaper articles detailing the real story behind the “suicide” set Riley off in search of the real story. The full scope of the deception forces Riley and Danny into a new and uncertain familial future. Our choices today really do have a ripple effect even though we may not perceive them clearly at the moment of decision. The Silent Sister was an excellent, suspenseful read. I give it four stars.

Daddy Love

From Andrea Payne
Title:  Daddy Love
Author:  Joyce Carol Oates

A look into the sinister mind and world of Chet Cash, who is carpenter and sexual predator of children.  He is in his late 30’s but disguises himself on occassion as a much older man who is “Preacher Chester Cash,” which is how he is able to abduct so many boys for more than a decade without anyone realizing who is behind it.  The story begins with him abducting 4 year old, Robbie, who is walking with his mother in the mall parking lot trying to find the car.  Cash, attacks, hits Robbie’s mother Dinah in the head with a hammer and snatches her son.  Surprisingly, Dinah’s adrenaline kicks in and she chases his van on foot and Cash runs her over, dragging her body, leaving her mangled and near death.  She survives but suffers life long disfigurement.  Her husband Whit, is a local radio personality and they appeal for years to bring Robbie back home.  The abduction takes a tremendous toll on their marriage and meanwhile, Robbie is locked in a ‘wooden maiden’ that Cash created for the purpose of restraining his captives.  He tortures and rapes the boy, while brainwashing him to believe that his name is Gideon and he is really his true son and has Robbie call him “Daddy Love.”  Robbie remains in captivity for 6 years, but ultimately realizes when Daddy Love begins hunting for a new son, that he is no longer desirable and must act fast or face the same fate as the other sons, who have never been heard from again.