Twisted by Marjorie Brody
One night during her freshman year, fourteen-year-old Sarah Hausman attends a school dance that will forever change the course of her life. Bruised and humiliated by a group of drunken boys – and betrayed by a classmate she thought she could trust – Sarah decides to lock away the secret of what happened that night to protect herself and to save her family from embarrassment. But secrets have a way of revealing themselves beyond even our control. Judith is a high school senior with the perfect boyfriend and a host of college offers to choose from, but plans begin to go off track when her boyfriend receives some unexpected news. While Sarah and Judith struggle separately to overcome the problems that fate has unfairly placed before them, events are in motion that will bring the girls together – though whether it will mean their saving grace or their mutual destruction remains to be determined.
Marjorie Brody comes to writing by way of psychotherapy, and she commands her characters with a smart and sensible application of her knowledge of the human personality. To portray the plight of a teenager, especially one coping to manage her emotions in the wake of a traumatizing experience, requires a master’s dexterity – but Brody certainly pulls it off. For one, Sarah’s relationship with her mother felt particularly viable, the mother-daughter bond tested – and ultimately strengthened – by the unspeakable acts committed against a young woman. There are things that are never easy for a family to go through, and sexual violence is chief among them. And, as if a compelling story and true-to-life characters weren’t enough, Twisted sets off several firecrackers toward the end that will bowl over even the most well-balanced readers.
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