Book Review – If I Should Die Before I Wake

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Title: If I Should Die Before I Wake

Author: Michelle Morris

Genre: Abusive Adult Fiction

Length: 197

Rating: 5 Star

Description/Synopsis:

Carla spends a summer night sitting by her father’s bed, his gun on her knees. When he wakens she will get retribution for the childhood he has stolen from her and her mind, which he has destroyed. As she realizes the full horror of her life and despair, she relives the years of loneliness, self-disgust and pain she has endured. Exploring the troubled mind of a brutalized teenager and the violent, abusive intimacy of a daughter and her father, “If I Should Die Before I Wake” depicts Carla’s disintegrating world with an unforgettable intensity. Michelle Morris has written a literary classic about the fundamental taboo of our society, incest.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Horrific to the point it made my stomach churn with disgust, but I was unable to stop reading.

This is not a book for those with a weak stomach or do not wish to know about some of the horrors that happen in our world. If things you read in the news or see on tv bother badly, do not read this book. It is one thing to be watching it and having it be told to you by some random, it is completely different when you are submerged in that world and can’t get away, much like our main character. You have been warned.

God…. Just… Wow… I really have no idea where to start when reviewing this book. When I finished it I was at a loss for most my words, and the ones I had left were sure to offend someone so I’ll just leave them up to your imagination.

I can’t really say that I loved this book like I normally would when I rate something 5 stars, but it filled me with such emotion and had me stringing along the entire way that anything below 5 would be impossible. You don’t have to enjoy something for it to be great for any reason.

The dad is the most vile and pathetic person you will probably ever read about, but I can’t really say that you lobe the main character Carla however. She is manipulative to the only person who she knows cares about her,her best friend, and is just sooo stupid. Its not in the sense that she is poorly written character or anything, its just that she herself has been so manipulated and hurt and everything else under the sun that you can kinda understand why she is stupid, but its really annoying at the same time. The only time I totally hated Carla was at a section when she finds a kitten and brings it home. Her dad clearly tells her never to bring it in the house again. I don’t care how old you are you infuriating child, you know already what your father will do if he sees that poor little harmless creature in the house again, so why the bloody hell did you bring it back inside?! Because of you that poor little creature got tortured painfully, had its leg broken, then burnt alive in the oven all because of you. You have every reason to feel bad about this.

As to the writing technique, its all over the place but it works somehow. You are reading in the past, present and the future all throughout the book. Carla is telling the story through writing letters to this person called Jessica, letters she will never see, and Jess herself starts off as a female teacher (I think) but becomes more a figment of her imagination. There are also points when she cries out and speaks to her Mama instead of Jessica, when she falls into her more child like moments. This very fragmented, back and forth, voices talking to her but they are her as well, between child and someone too old her her age, is done so well to demonstrate just how disturbed and broken Carla is because of the life she has been living.

A truly nauseating and horrific read because you believe what is happening, and know that is does actually happen, and you can hear the pain, feel the vile, and smell the stink that reeks from the words that are being spun in front of you, you are there in the book with her. But these are the exact reasons why its a good and powerful read and if you feel you can hold up against its powerful content I recommend it.

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