What happens when the breaking of the body is what heals the soul within?
The book is riddled with secrets and secret keepers. Some we find out about right away, some we find out only because Jude, the one person who never let anyone in on her own secrets before finally met her match, The Bluff… hears them from the trap of her own head. Some other’s know and others keep, it is a mess. At the center of this our author has put Jude into a vegetative state, basically a host for her unborn child. So broken, so messed up when alive, we have no clue how important she is and how fast things will unravel as well as heal in the end
Lost for so many years our protagonist, Jude finally wakes up, at least from her own walk-about through reality. Ready to deal with it all, the pregnancy the drugs, a plausible rape, an abusive childhood, bullying, her mothers suicide witnessed, her homosexuality and to all around everything a mystery. The problem? She wakes up in a vegetative state and cannot share all of her secrets she has kept from her best friend, her sister, the small town she lives in and finally to her own unborn child. Now what? She is awake enough to hear, and as her body dies, her child grows, others begin to die within, without and around…
Before Jude falls from the bluff where she lives through miraculously, alive with her unborn child still healthy while her body broken beyond help. She is stuck in a medical limbo and becomes a magnet to the lost souls in the vicinity. Skomal has created a world of symbolism and metaphor as well as a story to immerse yourself slowly in. Will she wake up to tell and help with everyone’s secrets? Will the birth of her child uncover another? What about those secrets which need revealing in order to save that of another innocent? Will she finally be able to help, even if it is just being there to “listen”?
Each of our characters seem to have a little tiny wisp of who she is and what she is about. She is like a center of a web, a web in a small town, a strand of which is the controversy of the Roman Catholic‘s take on pulling the plug, or the strand of the small town, a reflection on many throughout America, and homosexual women. How all and everything compounds these issues. Infidelity, drug abuse, suicide, shall I go on? Oh no, how about abortion… yep I said it, and one thing this book never brings up? Is abortion or adoption which for some reason bugs me the most.
There is a lot going on and I am glad I did not slam through it. It is not one to jaunt through over the weekend, as the author has stated, she wants us to “eat” her books, and I nibbled, ate, put it in Tupperware… zapped it a bit to heat it up and finally finished it with a dollop of whip cream on top.
This is a book about the struggle of one woman with a broken soul, a woman with more secrets than the church in question and the only people who learn the most about Jude are us, the reader! It makes you wonder “what…?” on so many levels. What would need to break in order for our own damage to be healed finally? I recommend this to anyone who is not afraid to face that question and to those who already have.