An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of 400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger. Enjoy ARCs and new releases.
A special thank you to Doubleday and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
From the author of Daniel Isn’t Talking and Dying Young, Marti Leimbach delivers a dark and disturbing tale AGE OF CONSENT, a haunting portrayal of a young teenage girl trapped, sexual and psychological abuse, molestation-a relationship with a man- a heavy burden to carry. Mother and daughter, both deceived.
Then the unthinkable, he moves into their home, when her own mother takes him in. It is the daughter he is after, not the mother.
It is 1978, Bobbie (Barbara) is a young teenage girl of fifteen years old, attempting to escape the clutches of a psycho-controlling man obsessed with her. He likes them young and flawless. He plays with her mind.
Craig, age twenty-eight years old, a Maryland disc jockey for a local radio station. A secret relationship. A local celebrity. An evil monster.
Bobbie finally gets her shot for escape during an automobile accident. She thinks hopefully he will die. However, the worst thing happens.
He is still alive. Her mother, June is stuck on this guy and visits his hospital daily. He is twisted and her mom falls for him. She is clueless to her daughter’s own needs. He now has the mother and daughter under his sadistic control. The monster isn’t staying away. He is forcing her from her own home. A continuous argument over the $1,000.
The biggest problem of all was how much her mother liked Craig. She would tell him exactly where Bobbie was, none the wiser while Craig set on his hunt.
Bobbie runs away and years later, she returns to the town, for the trial. To bring charges against the man who abused her, after learning he has done to same to other young girls. Decades ago she told herself she would never come back, never even look back. Now here she is.
Alternating between 1978 and 2008, the author details every evil deed and the horrible crimes against a poor young girl. A predator, who makes it his life mission to torture her even years later. (this is one sicko). Now her step-father.
Bobbie feels a combination of tenderness and rage—that her mother could command such love from her, that her mother could sully that love by talking about Craig.
Bobbie has to face the scorn from others and is named a “middle-aged woman with a vendetta.” She’s accused of waging war against her own family. Her step-father. Her mother. Everyone wants to know why she did not speak up years ago.
What about the mother, June who was not there to save and protect her; even during the trial, she takes the monster’s side. A powerful portrayal of mother and daughter and a link to a master emotional manipulator. From pain, suffering, and loss, a family in crisis. A mix of domestic, crime, and psychological suspense.
Pain, confusion, fear and the capacity of the human spirit to survive and thrive and even take on the burden of other’s guilt.
The dark high-charged subject matter is difficult to read at times. However, a cautionary tale to be mindful of those we bring into our children’s lives. Men can work their ways into a mother’s life to take advantage of the daughter or son. Also for those suffering from CSA and the devastating psychological effects of a lifetime. Deep shadows everywhere.
While reading AGE OF CONSENT, I was also listening to Hollie Overton’s Baby Doll. Both books have predators of young girls (I was hoping someone would kill them both).
For victims, the effects of child sexual abuse can be devastating. Victims may feel significant distress and display a wide range of psychological symptoms, both short-and long-term. They may feel powerless, ashamed, and distrustful of others. Guilt, shame, and blame. As in the book, many perpetrators of sexual abuse are in a position of trust, or responsible for the child’s care, such as a family member, teacher, clergy member, or coach.
The author delivers a realistic view; the heartbreaking emotions from both daughter, mother, and a manipulative narcissist pervert. You will want to scream at the mother to open her eyes. Overall, the author captures the intense emotions and fear, keeping readers page-turning to the very end.
For fans of Chevy Stevens, Karin Slaughter, Heather Gudenkauf, T. Greenwood, Diane Chamberlain, and Jodi Picoult.