- File Size: 3572 KB
- Print Length: 322 pages
- Publisher: Glass Spider Publishing; 2 edition (April 11, 2018)
- Publication Date: April 11, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07C47G1B2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #535,921 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
A Dress the Color of the Sky Kindle Edition
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A Dress the Color of the Sky is a steamy, raw, eye-opening contemporary book about addiction and redemption. The story empowers women. Our main character is Prudence Aldrich, a sex addict who checks in at Serenity Hills, a rehabilitation center. She confronts her traumatic past, dealing with an abusive childhood and an alcoholic husband named Nick. She is also a rape survivor. She meets people who help her gain control over herself. Prue is also the mother of a boy of fourteen years old named Christian. The story is a memoir of the author, who was trapped in an abusive marriage like Prue's. As the story progresses, we enter deep into Prue's troubled past. We see how her parents split, how she was treated by the men in her life, and where her addiction comes from. While we are traveling in her childhood memories, we also see her in the present, at the clinic. These alternations between past and present are going to captivate you, making you turn the pages faster for the next short chapter. The painful details of the past point to Prue's struggle of regaining control of her life.
Prue's development of character is the most valuable element of the book. Her progress is amazing. In spite of everything she went through, Prue stays good at heart. She knows she has to take care of her child, and she is desperate enough to give her body to strangers for money. Because of that, I compare her to Fantine from Les Miserables. If you liked it, you should also check out this book. Prue's strength is admirable. I think her being a mother was the only reason she wasn't completely lost. It is impossible to not feel something for her. You will see her reaching out for help throughout the book. I would've liked to know her in real life. Being in an abusive marriage, her husband Nick amplifies her negative feelings and her self-destructive behavior. The problem is that in every abusive relationship, the person abused can't leave the abuser. She is convinced that she is to blame for everything that goes wrong in their marriage.
In the beginning, her progress means that she simply has to abstain from intimate relations with men. That's why she wears a pink label for her category of addicts, and a neon-pink sticker with "Females Only" written on it. But when Alistair, a cocaine addict, comes along, things become a little bit complicated. Will she be able to resist him and continue her treatment, or her desires will simply be too powerful? Another thing that threatens her progress is when Family Week comes, and Prue has to confront the problems with her family.
At the clinic, Prue mostly attends group meetings and therapy. I liked a method used in the book. They had a wall poster with eight basic emotions written on it: Anger, Fear, Pain, Joy, Passion, Love, Shame, and Guilt. The patients needed to use the words to describe what they felt, and thus their progress was monitored. I feel like that might be a good thing to try myself at home. Although it appears simple, it was interestingly used in the book.
I wish other characters were developed more. I wanted to know more about some of them, like Prue's brother. But I understand that the other characters are there to amplify Prue's insecurities, or to offer support to her recovery. They have a clear purpose in the development of Prue's character. For that reason, I won't take any stars off. I appreciate that we saw people with other addictions and their meetings, for example, the AA meetings. Prue forms strong friendships with other addicts and doctors. I enjoyed the most her relationship with Christian, her son. She is a good mother to him, but he is just a child who can't understand why his mother leaves him alone at night.
The beginning was slow for me. Unfortunately, the story didn't grasp me at first. As it progressed, I got to see just how deep it went into psychology, and I started liking the serious subject. Eventually, the book remained stuck in my hands, and pages started flying. I enjoyed Prue's little sarcastic thoughts. The writing was light and flows gracefully.
Prue involves herself sexually in a lot of dangerous relationships. The explicit scenes might make the reader uncomfortable, as they are more tragic than erotic. Those who don't like disturbing stories should stay away because this book is going to have an impact on everyone. Not to mention, only adults should read it.
In the last pages, there is a series of questions about the book meant to be answered in a group discussion. I've never seen that before, and I find it helpful because it feels like chatting with the author. I recommend this book to fans of adult fiction, to people who enjoy strong female characters, to those passionate about psychology, and to everyone looking for a book about love, addiction, redemption, family, and friendship. It is professionally edited, but I managed to find a few grammar mistakes, for example, missing or added prepositions.
In conclusion, I enjoyed the development of the main protagonist, her relationship with the people who cared about her, the positive light in which the rehabilitation center is showed, and the list of questions the author asks at the end. I didn't enjoy the under-developed second characters, but I understood their purpose. For the reasons listed above, I give A Dress the Color of the Sky 4 out of 4 stars.
A Dress the Color of the Sky by Jennifer Irwin is a romance novel featuring Prudence Aldrich, also known as Prue, a woman who is having a hard time navigating her life. Under the control of her abusive husband, Nick, Prue copes with her pain through various addictions. After having several dangerous sexual encounters with strangers, Prue realizes she is not at fault for her emotions, and checks into Serenity Hills rehabilitation center. There, she discovers who she truly is as a person. She comes to understand that the abuse she has endured her whole life, including her childhood trauma, does not define who she is. She learns that she is here on this earth for a reason, and that it is okay to allow herself to heal and become free from the chains of all her negative experiences.
A Dress the Color of the Sky is a raw, emotional and compelling novel that will help you understand just how resilient victims of trauma can be. Prue is a character you will come to love and admire by the book's finish; her self-destructive behavior is hard to stomach, but you will cheer for her as she learns to love herself for who she is. Jennifer Irwin's writing is inviting; the plot goes into a considerable amount of depth that will stick with the reader; her characters are well-rounded and the dialogue is light and witty but heavy when needed. The pacing is just right, and overall the narrative flows nicely and does not seem to miss a beat. This is not your typical romance novel; it is so much more and manages to cover tricky themes like sex addiction in a thoughtful manner. I suggest this book to anyone who wishes to learn more about abuse victims. This book teaches you that no matter what you have done in your past, you are a person who is worthy of unconditional love.
From the Author
Another important subject covered in my book is that of addiction. Addiction is something that most people have encountered through a variety of ways whether it be a family member, friend or themselves. Recently, an addiction specialist who read my book told me that he felt it would diminish people's fear of rehab. My book could "help people overcome the fear of seeking help by providing insight into the experience from a very raw and honest perspective." As the child of an alcoholic, drug addict, I spent a lot of time covering up the pain and overcompensating for the fact that I felt fatherless, but I had to choose not to have it ruin my life. I wanted to convey this message in my book through the main character so that other people can see that it is possible to rise up from bad things and lead a fulfilling, healthy life. I did a lot of research to write this book, attended AA, SAA and NAA meetings and interviewed many people. My hope is that this book can help people see that rehab isn't a scary, degrading place but rather a place to grow, change and dig into self-discovery.
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Undoubtedly, virtually every person on the planet regrets at least one thing that has occurred in their past. Something which has mortified them and potentially caused shame and embarrassment. However, in most instances the intensity of these issues are such that a person can leave it behind them and move forward with their life. Be that as it may, what if the past was so traumatic and tragic that it totally defines a person’s existence? What if they are unable to overcome the obstacles of the past…even if it means a lifetime of pain and sorrow. Entirely debilitated and seeking comfort in an unhealthy and often deadly manner. If such notions have garnered your attention and interest, then A Dress the Color of the Sky by author Jennifer Irwin will be a top reading selection!
Essentially, the book follows the life and struggles of Prudence (Prue) Aldrich. Married to a sullen and abusive husband by the name of Nick, Prue copes and seeks escape in the form of sexual encounters with strangers. Recognizing the inherent danger of such a sexual addiction, Prue enters a rehab center by the name of Serenity Hills. It is here that she seeks to do battle with her demons and hopefully save her marriage and family at the same time. As the story proceeds, we are taken back through Prue’s past in a series of flashbacks. We are thus able to gain some perspective about her and why she has found herself at this lowly point. The reader is able to meet her mother, father, brother and a whole host of friends and abusers. Her guilt, minimal sense of self-worth and rampant self-loathing all begin to make sense. Although she attempts to “repair” herself by attending rehab, is Prue simply too far gone to ever truly recover from her tragic and chaotic past? Or will she manage to find a new strength of character and love for herself which she never really knew existed?
I found the plot of this novel to be absolutely captivating and engaging. As a reader you will simply melt right into this book. There are a variety of minor themes which run throughout the story, but the struggle to recover from a traumatic past is the most prevalent motif for this particular reader. It is all about the strength of the human spirit against what seem to be impossible odds. Although I can personally identify and connect with Prue’s childhood and the trauma she experienced, such a personal connection is not needed to love this book. You just have to be human. The writing flows beautifully and alternates between the past and present in an entirely seamless fashion. To say I consider this novel to be compelling and enthralling would be a drastic understatement. In truth, I found it to be magical and it moved me deeply.
For those readers who like to see the protagonist develop in great depth throughout the course of a story, once again A Dress the Color of the Sky will not disappoint. While there are certainly a variety of characters in the story, they all essentially play a supporting role to Prue. Her various relationships with them act to uncover and divulge important details about Prue and the nature and depth of her experiences…both negative and uplifting. Also, the dialogue between them flows smoothly and seems entirely genuine and believable. The interactions between Prue and the various supporting characters will ignite a whole range of emotions within the reader. Without a doubt I felt anger, sorrow, joy, contempt and disgust at various points throughout the tale. Character development at its best!
This book is a must read for a wide variety of reasons. However, the fact that it is so beautifully written stands out as paramount. I would recommend it to all adult readers and give it my highest rating.
The story is a big one, swinging from childhood to the present and childhood again, returning back to the present. This is a story about Prue's addiction, but it is also a story abut her redemption too. We live through her traumatic past, an abusive childhood, sexual molestation, rape and her alcoholic husband Nick. We also meet some of her life long friends whom she can count on, especially Lily.
I found Prue to be very likable, routing for her during her rehab, feeling bad for her when she reaps the consequences of many bad decisions she makes. Some of what she goes through are vivid and emotional, but the sexual scenes were just enough to give the reader a sense of emotion and grasping that Prue experiences. Nothing written here, while emotional, should keep someone from reading this book.
While not a woman, this book did resonate with me, having witness the abuse my mom went through, and experiencing it myself, with my brothers and sisters as we were growing up. Thanks Ms Irwin. There can never be enough books like this, exposing the secrets we all experience.
Ms. Irwin’s book centers around the central character, Prudence, and her narrative of addiction, recovery and self-reconciliation. As Prudence’s story is revealed, the reader learns of the childhood trauma and neglect, as well as the tough resilient child, and the survivor who, ultimately, must navigate and touch all the edges of her past in order to address the roots of her addictive behavior.
With empathy, Ms. Irwin has Prudence confront past traumas in order to unbind from shame and blame. Ultimately, the resilient and addicted Prudence must release her tough external shell that was formed for survival. In dissolving her armor, the reader sees Prudence reluctantly and desperately immerse herself in recovery, and then with bravery, Prudence comes to understand she has right to be joyful, balanced and at peace—even in the face of extraordinarily difficult choices.
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Prudence's mother offers no protection for her daughter, and I found it very interesting to see a correlation between the behavior of Prudence's mother and Prudence's own behavior when she is a mother later on in life. There is a theme of history repeating here. Very memorable for me was the fairytale Prudence's mother tells her when she is a child, about the dress the color of the sky. It brings meaning to the story.
As treatment progresses, there are many scenes in the book which detail various sexual encounters throughout her life, as the circumstances of Prudence's life become more desperate. The novel also explores Prudence's relationships with her husband, Nick, and her son, Christian. Not surprisingly, Nick treats Prudence exactly how she expects to be treated. His use of her name Pru-dense made me dislike him immensely. He is not a nice man. I was saddest for Pru's son, who didn't like to be left alone when Pru was out with men. Christian broke my heart the hardest.
I thought the detail about Pru's life was quite detailed and it does a good job in making the reader feel uncomfortable and horrified at what she has been through. But I felt that the scenes at the rehab center could have been more rounded, with Pru's own personal revelations as well as her relationships with her fellow treatment patients. I couldn't quite grasp the essence of these secondary characters or the relationship which was apparently developing between Pru and Alistair. I think this is because there was not enough time spent with those characters for them to feel three dimensional.
One aspect of rehab that I liked was when Pru told the nurse what emotions she was feeling. This was a recurring theme throughout the book, and these occasions made me feel a wide array of emotions along with Pru. Overall, I felt moved by Pru's raw and emotional journey. It leaves me with a bittersweet aftertaste and I hope she is able to forge ahead with her life and repair her relationship with her son.