My rating: (3 / 5)
When I began reading this book, I became pretty annoyed pretty fast.
Why? Well, because the main character was having a really hard day, which I considered to be a really easy day. I put down this book for a while because I was so irritated with the annoyances of the main character that I just could not proceed.
And here, let me say, that she was having what is probably a bad day in a “normal” family. My experience of family was decidedly not normal. The children that my husband and I were placed with from DCFS foster care were severely affected by childhood trauma. Both had attachment issues, but one had a particularly violent form of RAD. So when I say that her bad day would have been a very, very good day for us, I’m actually not kidding.
I wished and longed for those kinds of days.
So I put down the book for a while until I could approach it with a more compassionate take. Everyone’s level of “hard” is different, and that’s all wrapped up in our own traumas and pasts. And as I learned by delving further into the book, our main character Gilly has a whole luggage set of baggage that she’s been keeping in storage. All of the little nickering pieces of damage from her childhood make a mildly bad day for her into something nearly traumatic. It affects her view of the world. I’ll give her that much. She’s essentially faking her way through life, waiting for it to get better.
But her bad day is about to get decidedly worse. You see, she leaves the kids alone in her truck when she takes a little trip to the ATM, and someone sees her there, alone. He has his own set of hefty luggage from his past, and right now he has a knife, a need for escape, and an envelope of money in his hand. His escape, he decides, will come in the form of Gilly’s truck, and he decides to (awkwardly and nearly inefficiently) carjack her.
The bulk of this novel is the literary equivalent of the “one room” film genre. You see, once Gilly is well and truly carjacked (and, given the option to run, she doesn’t), Todd takes her off to his uncle’s cabin, and they are promptly snowed in by a huge blizzard that cuts them off from the rest of the world for months.
There’s no electricity, no internet, not even a book to read. There are a few board games and each other. And as they get to know one another, one thing becomes astoundingly clear.
Gilly is an irredeemable bitch.
Todd is supposed to be the bad guy, but I spent most of my time feeling sorry for him, because he was locked in this little snowed-in cabin with the wicked witch of the west. I had no sympathy for this lady any more, no more benefit of the doubt. My first instincts were spot-on. She’s awful.
I didn’t like her at all. And the ending? Well, I’m not going to spoiler it. I’m just going to say that I hope Gilly spends the rest of her life stepping on Legos in her bare feet.