24 February 2012
23. The Girl Next Door
Extremely disturbing. Haunting. Intense. Very unpleasant subject matter written in a way that grabs you by the throat and forces you to slam the gas-pedal to the floor knowing the bridge is out ahead and the pain is coming. I absolutely could not put this book down.
I will now have to watch this movie. The author approved. That is different.
This is a story loosely based on a real event from 1965 but placed in the more familiar surroundings of the authors childhood neighborhood. The real world events involved Sylvia Likens and Gertrude Baniszewski.
This book is full of mental illness, child abuse, and eventually murder. Knowing that these things happened make it even worse.
The involvement of the other children in the house and from the neighborhood in the abuse of this teenage girl remind me of Lord of the Flies. Far more violent and disturbing, but similar.
This book really left me feeling uncomfortable, angry and frustrated. It is rare for me to get real emotion from a read, but this one did it.