A few weeks ago, I was given the chance to read a novel by a new author, Kimberly Job. When her book arrived, I was intrigued by the cover. I thumbed through the first few pages, and was instantly hooked by the storyline.
This work delves deeply into the troubled world of marital malevolence. Stephanie, the protagonist, has suffered repeated physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her husband, Mark. One night after enduring another severe beating, Stephanie gathers her three children, and flees their home. This time Mark had not only struck her in anger, but he had also hit their teenage son, Tyson, when the young man tried to intervene. Deciding Mark had crossed an invisible boundary, Stephanie seeks solace and safety at her mother's abode. She files for divorce and soon finds a small apartment where she attempts to rebuild a safe life for herself, and her children.
Discouraged after spending several days job hunting, Stephanie eventually lands a position as a receptionist at a pediatrician's office. A natural with children, Stephanie impresses the doctor by her compassionate nature. She quickly learns the skills needed for the business end of this occupation, and she is thrilled by her ability to provide a livelihood for her children. Ranging in ages from sixteen to eleven to seven years old, each child is dealing with a variety of emotions. Stephanie does her best to help them cope, but her two younger daughters don't fully understand all that has taken place, and the eleven-year-old, Maddie, seems especially resentful of the situation.
In the middle of all of this, another character is introduced: Jared. Recently widowed, Jared is struggling with raising his five-year-old daughter on his own. He alternates between extreme grief, disgust, and anger over the way his deceased wife had embraced the dark world of alcoholism. Dying in a car accident while drunk, his wife had never seemed happy in her role of wife and mother. Absorbing enormous pain, Jared is trying to piece his life back together as best he can. Realizing he will need another caretaker for his young daughter, he meets Stephanie at the pediatrician's office, and the two agree to a babysitting arrangement. This will provide Stephanie with much-needed added income, and Jared's daughter with a safe place to stay after school each day.
Just as Stephanie's life seems to be sorting itself out, a dark cloud of fear descends as her soon-to-be-ex-husband discovers where she is now living, and where she works. Mark is determined to be reunited with his family and he resents the time Stephanie spends with Jared. Out of control, he strikes back in a familiar fashion, leaving his family in a nightmare of turmoil and pain.
This is a novel that touts survival despite horrific circumstances. I believe it will do much toward helping those who may be enduring a similar situation and that it will open the eyes of others who do not. Unfortunately, we live in a society where abuse is on the rise, an evil tendency that needs to be eliminated.
I'm giving this novel a thumbs way up. In my opinion the author, Kimberly Job, has written a timely book with an important message. Abuse should not be tolerated in whatever form it surfaces.
You can purchase "I'll Know You by Heart," on this link: Buy this book
Welcome to Crane-ium: thoughts, poetry, lyrics & photography of Cheri J. Crane
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