In the summer of 1962, at a high school graduation party, Bessie Day Hardy is victim to a brutal crime. Fifty years later, the consequences of that horrific night will transition into unforeseen events that will shatter her serene and uncomplicated life.
Cook transports the reader to the 1960’s complete with flawed mindset pertaining to women and rape. She vividly sets the turbulent times in great detail, thoughts, family and societal expectations, political and sexual tension of the era along with historical references of the period.
Rape is not an easy subject matter to approach, yet Cook gives us a rather complicated narrative involving this very touchy topic. The narrative is slow to start but its force is felt midway through with increased propulsion. Major twists and turns, secrets, deceptions and recollections unfold creating a climactic ending.
Bessie is a compelling character. As you learn of her brutal rape, the reader is deeply affected. As Bessie sifts through the lies, pieces the fragments of her memory you admire her strength for all she endured. Her unfaltering strength allows her to handle her rape with impressive emotional and mental composure. As her ordeal is brought to light, the culprits, innocent victims and bystanders leave you astonished.
A rather powerful narrative with a shocking outcome addressing a topic handled with extreme caution nonetheless controversial in players. Laborious and ambitious effort by Cook, well executed.
About Vera Jane Cook
Pharaoh’s Star is Vera Jane Cook’s most recent release. The Story of Sassy Sweetwater was Vera Jane’s second southern fiction novel and was a finalist in the ForeWord book of the Year Awards for 2012 and received a five star ForeWord Clarion review, as well as an Eric Hoffer honorable mention award for ebook fiction in 2013. Dancing Backward in Paradise also received a 5 Star Clarion ForeWord review and an Eric Hoffer notable new fiction award in 2006, as well as the Indie Excellence Award in 2006. Also by Vera Jane Cook: Lies a River Deep, Where the Wildflowers Grow, Marybeth, Hollister & Jane and Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem. Her next novel, Pleasant Day will be published in 2015 by Moonshine Cove Press.