I've got a new review to share.
My Sore Hush-A-Bye by Renata Barcelos
Synopsis: Camille is a young girl stuck in the past. Classic TV shows, old music, and
dresses that never made it into the 21st century.
After her mother left
a puzzling note leaving her in the care of Uncle Bob, she had a rough go of it,
not wanting to conform to his rigorous rules and this new life. But she learned.
She learned to love and accept her sheltered life. For 8 years, Mama Cass' songs
and reruns of I Love Lucy and other old TV shows were her only comfort, and
Uncle Bob her only companion.
That all starts to change when Camille
finally goes to public school once she reaches her teenage years. She meets a
friend who mysteriously disappears. She has suspicions that Uncle Bob may not be
the perfect man she once thought. She starts thinking about her mother.
Most important of all, she begins to grow up, and that is what changes
I won a print copy of this book in a Batty For Books blog giveaway contest. Getting stuff in the mail is really exciting, I must say. I LOVE holding books in my hands, no matter how popular ebooks have become. There's something about turning pages that gives me the warm and fuzzies.
I read this book in 8 hours. From the first few pages, I was definitely hooked. I warn you, I have minor spoilers throughout, so if you don't want me to ruin it for you, don't read past this paragraph. You're safe 'til then. This little girl Camille, is kidnapped, only she doesn't realize it. She thinks Uncle Bob is taking her to stay with him because her mom abandoned her. She's only 7'ish, and has nothing else to believe and no one else to trust, so she becomes his property for the next 8 years, his prisoner brainwashed to believe she is his welcomed and beloved guest. She believes him when he said he loved her, and he even had a "note" from her mom that validated what he said.
I can't tell you how into this story I became. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what in the world was going on. It was very well written as far as keeping the reader in total bemusement and curiosity. I almost didn't want to put it down to do my Sunday housework, but I had to force it out of my own hands. I had to find out what happened to this girl, and the other missing girl, Ashley, who she kept mentioning and implying she had something to do with. Uncle Bob was the lowest form of life imaginable, the things he told her to keep her under his thumb, like how her "blackness" wasn't accepted in regular society (in his city) so she was much safer hiding away in his house, doing whatever he wanted. The "games" he made her play and the way the author describes it without being too over-the-top was just outright compelling. My heart pounded at some of the scenes like when she snuck in his room to search for her mom's contact information after being too scared to attempt anything of the sort in 8 years. That's the point when desperation overtakes her, and she finally takes control of her life no matter how terrified she. But she thought she was doing it to run away and rid Uncle Bob of herself because she thought he didn't love her anymore since she'd outgrown his taste.
I totally pictured this girl being shown only 60s and 70s sitcoms and classic movies to keep her mind under total control from the outside world. And I loathed that psycho doctor who came to "take care" of her and kept giving her pills! I knew he was some kind of partner with Uncle Bob in a child porn ring, but it was just too sick to imagine. I was baffled by why Uncle Bob would take the chance to send her to high school knowing she had a full-scale chance to running and exposing him. Was he that sure he had such strong mental control over her that she wouldn't dare challenge him? Now that is some kind of ego! But eventually she did, and that was the down-spiraling of the story. When she managed to find her mom, it was magical.
I love, love, love how all the things that didn't make sense to me throughout the book made perfect sense at the end. Barcelos wraps up the story quite skillfully. It's very disturbing to think this crap happens in real life. I read a story very similar to this a few months back in the local paper. A child porn ring busted, and the things I read about literally traumatized me.
This book gets my 5-star rating! The only kinds of books that earn my 5-star are ones that totally freak me out somehow, touch on my emotions and make me ponder it long after I finish reading.
I highly recommend this book. Good stuff!