A young woman who survived a vicious sexual assault when she was still in high school thinks she’s finally escaped her troubled past. She hasn’t.
Now that she’s graduated summa cum laude from college, Victoria Myers has come back to Sandburg, New York, where everybody knows everybody and everybody knows what happened to her six years ago. On her way home from a lakeside party, she was attacked and raped by at least two men she was unable to identify. Lt. Patty Marcus, of the New York State Police, thought Victoria so little help that she barely gave her the time of day; Dr. Thornton, her psychologist, could aid her only so much; and her parents, Lester and professor Helen Myers, had to face neighbors who clearly regarded their beloved daughter as damaged goods, someone whose assailants, she reflects mournfully, “didn’t simply steal my virginity….They stole my identity, my sense of self.” Now, however, Victoria’s basking in the glow of Bart Stonefield, the high school crush who dropped out of college and went to work at his father’s car dealership. All of a sudden Victoria’s Prince Charming seems to have discovered how beautiful and intelligent and generally wonderful she is. He takes her to dinner at the town’s premier restaurant, showers her with compliments, pledges his undying love, and surprises her with an engagement ring. As her parents struggle to cope with their daughter’s dazzling good fortune, even Victoria wonders if there’s a catch. Of course there is, and only readers whose eyes are clouded by the latest megadose of purple prose from Neiderman (Lost in His Eyes, 2015, etc.) will fail to see it long ahead of his heroine.
A slender premise plumped out gracefully but gratuitously to novel length.