An abducted teen recounts her harrowing captivity.
Stolarz (Shutter, 2016, etc.) ups the psychological ante by crafting a confessional narrative in which her 17-year-old protagonist is taken and held for months against her will. Gutsy first-person narrator “Jane Anonymous” tells her story by alternating between two troubling presents. “THEN” details the moments leading up to and including her gripping “seven months away” while “NOW” tells what has happened since her escape to the “girl who sleeps in her closet with a knife tucked beneath her pillow, trusting no one but herself.” Though the cast of characters—from Jane’s abductor to Jane, her family, and friends—exhibits a blanched, generic, suburban quality, the depth of psychological intrigue is absorbing and the twist on the Stockholm syndrome, disturbing. Jane’s probing monologue while captive details both the mental and physical coping mechanisms she developed and convincingly displays her unwitting realizations, such as her heightened sensory awareness borne of being confined. But Jane’s return also clearly shows the fallout of her torment—not only for her, but for those who care about her as well, demonstrating just how far life is from being back to how it was before she was taken and prompting Jane to wonder if her shattered psyche will always be “far beyond repair.” This novel is a testament to how the mind can reshape reality in order to survive. Main characters are white.
Powerfully graphic. (Fiction. 12-18)