The Compulsive Reader: Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Friday, October 14, 2011

Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

From the author that wrote the Life as We Knew It trilogy, here is another striking book that will be hard to put down:

Willa knows that her family may not be perfect, but she considers herself pretty happy living in a modest home with her mother, stepfather, and two stepsisters. They all love each other and have a pretty good relationship—Willa never thinks about the abusive father she and her mother left when she was toddler. But he comes back into her life in a violent way when the police show up at her doorstep one day with the tragic and terrifying news that he has killed his new wife and young children...and is on his way from across the country with the intent to make Willa and her mother his next victims.

Blood Wounds is an intense, tension-filled novel that is as much of a suspenseful thriller as it is a family drama. At the very beginning of the novel, Willa's family is portrayed as a happy, busy, slightly stressed normal mixed family, with a few underlying tensions that manifest themselves in Willa's secret habit of cutting. The family's issues are put on the back burner as Willa's father is pursued and eventually stopped, but once he is, the family's drama explodes as the circumstances expose all of the lies, half-hidden truths, pent-up resentment, and hurt that every member has been harboring for years. Willa learns the extent to which her stepsisters' mother controls her life, and is finally open about the financial inequality between her and her stepsisters and how it upsets and affects her. Willa does stand strong in demanding to attend her half-siblings' funeral, despite her mother's objections, and she learns a lot about her parents' pasts and what might have led to the unspeakable tragedy that befell her family.

Through everything that happens to her, Willa remains strong, and in the face of near poverty, manages to do what she believes is right for everyone involved, The result isn't a rosy, serendipitous solution, and her family isn't completely content, but they are much more honest with each other and on their way to establishing an even stronger relationship. Pfeffer has created a complicated and thought-provoking novel where the bad guy isn't perhaps the most obvious character and the result is a story that will stick with you for a long time.

Cover Comments: This cover is just so chilling! The look on the girl's face is frightening, and the title written in the color of blood is very striking.

Digital copy purchased.


Anonymous said...

This sounds like something seriously intense! but also different. Very interesting!

LoriStrongin said...

DEFINITELY have this one on my TBR pile. I love stories about families cracking under the pressure of the past and all the secrets they've been keeping. I haven't heard anything but good things about this one!


The book girl said...

I'm so glad you like this one. A lot of people said they didn't think it lived up to her other books, so I was hesitant to pick it up. I also like your summary better than the normal one. Can't wait to read it!

Susan said...

I love the SBP and I love the cover of this one, but the story itself didn't do a lot for me. I'm not sure why, but I found it disappointing. Oh well. Different strokes for different folks, right?

Liss Martz said...

A must to-read book! I loved her trilogy, she's a great writer, one of my favorites. Sounds so good. Definitely is going to my bookshelf! I love all of her covers, too!