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Girl Held in Home Paperback – October 18, 2011
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BOOKLIST Review excerpt
"Searle (Celebrities in Disgrace, 2001) manages to spin a completely zany plot that holds some hard truths about prejudice, sexual politics, and fear. This is one political novel that manages to convey its message with insight and humor."
-- Joanne Wilkinson
BOOKLIST (Sept 4, 2011)
PORTLAND PRESS HERALD
by Joan Silverman
THE BOSTON GLOBE
From the Back Cover
"GIRL HELD IN HOME gracefully walks the knife's edge between wild satire and ripped-from the headlines realism. Elizabeth Searle's new novel is sexy, funny, creepy and highly enjoyable."
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Top Customer Reviews
Visually, the book is well put together. The cover design shows off the internal trap that is presented within the issues of the story by only showing part of a young woman's face. The sections within the different chapters is split up efficiently so the reader is not constantly switching back and forth between Maura's and Joezy's perspective to make it confusing and disorienting. There is an equal balance between the two narrations. The author does use punctuation in a weird way. While a good colon can be effective for the story, overuses of them are terribly distracting for a reader.
Girl Held in Home is an interestingly blunt story that could often make a reader cringe reading it if the reader does not choose to read the book in the quirky manner that Searle tries to get across.
The Mother in the story has a brush with breast cancer, begins questioning the state of her marriage, and rediscovers her long ignored bisexuality.Not to mention a questionable family down the road, a possible hostage situation, and the odd behavior of her child all happening in the daunting shadow that is the aftermath of 9/11. And that is literally not even half the story.
Even as you're reading it, you don't really know what's going on. The story opens at the climax of the story; the rest of the book is spent trying to catch up. From that first chapter, you already have assumptions of what going on and who the characters really are. Chapter by chapter we get new and conflicting scraps of information that we have to patch together. It isn't until the very end that we get the last fragment to the big picture. And even at the end you are left with questions! I love it!!
Overall I give it an A+, the characters are engaging, and seem genuinely real. Looking at the Authors photograph and the description of the mother, I have to wonder how much of this story is actually fiction?
Girl Held in Home provides insight to the very human condition in all of us and particularly shows how a mother's love can never be defeated. The exploration of relationship in Post 9/11 is very heavy and evident throughout the story and also provides the reader with understanding from both sides of the tracks which is instrumental to providing depth and insight to Searle's characters.
I highly recommend it to a female audience as the character of Maura is very identifiable from a female perspective.
What a read, what a ride.