A debut self-help novel tells the story of two traumatized friends attempting to get past the abuses they suffered as children.
Even though she is a financially successful woman of 35, Anne Davis keeps choosing deadbeat guys. She’s a rescuer: trying to save Derek from his own abusive behavior in the hopes that he’ll finally be well enough to love her back. She knows it stems from some abandonment issues from never having met her father, coupled with the grief she still feels over the death of her son. Knowing where it comes from doesn’t really help, unfortunately. Luckily, Anne has Dominic in her life. He's been her friend for years and undergone his own cycles of bad decision-making before finally becoming a respected counselor. Dominic was molested as a child by a pair of older girls (his babysitters), which greatly informs his sex life and his emotional state as an adult. With the help of Dominic and another old friend, Josie, Anne digs deeper into her life and finds trauma that she wasn’t previously aware of. Even better, they help her to work through that pain in order to stop searching for love from impossible sources and find it within herself. Following the conclusion of the tale, Mason and Andrada provide 40 pages of helpful strategies for people who have found themselves in situations similar to those of Anne and Dominic. The authors write in a buoyant prose that keeps the story peppy and easy to read even in its heavier moments. Sprinkled throughout the dialogue are snippets of self-help ideas that relate to the problems of the characters. “I’ve found there are three types of people,” explains Dominic at one point. “Doers, feelers and thinkers. Doers, like myself, are goal oriented. They don’t have time for emotions. Feelers are driven by emotions. All decisions are based on feelings. Thinkers are driven by logic.” That the novel is written primarily as a teaching aid (rather than for the tale itself) saps it of the urgency readers normally expect in fiction. But the book succeeds in terms of demonstrating the issues and the coping mechanisms advocated by the authors.
A thoughtful and useful work of self-help tips as fiction.