How do we measure abuse and does anyone have the right to judge pain?
This was a tough read in the sense that I felt for Grace and I saw that her situation was on the edge of unbearable. Her mother and step-father throw some serious emotional and verbal abuse onto her. There were many times when I wanted to intervene. So it was nothing short of heartbreaking to see Grace trade one abuse for another in the form of Gavin.
There were obvious red flags but I had to admit that there were sweet moments especially in comparison to how she’s treated at home. Yet, Gavin pissed me off the more his demands grew. He didn’t like Grace for who she was and there’s a pattern of grooming her to fit his standards. This book made me realize that people in abusive relationships don’t enter one willingly, but rather it’s a progression of breeching the other’s boundaries. I also took notice that verbal attacks hurt just as much as physical ones. Coercion can come in the form of ultimatums without compromise.
I admit that at the beginning, I was apathetic to Grace’s naivety about finding love and holding it in the highest regard. She touted true love to be her only way out. It manifested in crushing on a guy who she thought to be an old soul like herself and hating his girlfriend for the sole reason that he chose someone else. This frustrated me since I, to some extent, know better. It wasn’t until I took into context that her view of love is skewered by her own parent’s abusive relationship.
Without a doubt, this book is so meaningful and heartfelt. I am glad that this story is being told as not only a cautionary tale but a way to let people know they are not alone. That the stigma of being in an abusive relationship is not something they should have to be ashamed of.
I like the imagery and how the title interacts with it. The white wall reminds me of a gallery space and I’m not sure if that is intentional or how to interpret it. I wish that the author’s name was considered being the kerning and placement seems awkward and unnecessary. However, I think the symbolism is spot on with a broken window frame that leads nowhere and a bouquet of dead flowers that still hold some vibrancy.