4.5 soul searching Stars
I finished this novella and immediately burst into tears. Because it hit home for me on a number of levels that I never could have anticipated. The ambush was so complete that it took me a while to come back from it. Books often take me off guard. I welcome it. Hell, I beg for it. But only very rarely is an author able to reach inside my very soul and make herself at home there, as if she already knows every nook and cranny. Very rarely is an author able to so eloquently display pieces of my heart so completely.
K. Bromberg does it with every single one of her books. There is something about her writing that not only resonates with me, but holds up a mirror, makes me look and then lights a fire under my ass. It’s as if she has a hotline to my subconscious, transcribes its notes and then turns those notes into books. It’s amazing.
Unraveled finds Lilly on vacation in Italy to celebrate her 10-year wedding anniversary. Alone. Her husband bailed at the last minute for work. She’s licking her wounds at a bar when a gorgeous man buys her a drink. There’s eye contact. There’s a brief nod. Then Lilly heads back to her hotel room, but she never makes it. She instead finds herself trapped, with two men, who want nothing more than to have their way with her body for the night. What could have easily become violent, scarring and horrific turns into….something else entirely.
Lilly is so completely overwhelmed throughout the entire experience that the narrative is at times a little repetitive and hard to read, but it so thoroughly captures her state of mind that it’s easy to forgive. The depth of Lilly’s strength is mind-boggling to look back upon. It would have been easy for her to check out, go numb and then walk away from this experience the same but broken. And not only is she not broken by books’ end, she is valiant, she is honest, she is extraordinary.
This book was originally part of an erotic anthology called BEND and it was pulled from Amazon in its release week for questionable content. I don’t know if this is the book that did it, but it could have been. Because you have to be willing to go on this journey with Lilly instead of getting wrapped up in the circumstances. You have to be wiling to be as present with her as she is in her captivity. You have to be willing to face up to the same questions she’s asking herself. And all of that is excruciatingly hard work – so very, very worth it, but hard nonetheless.
It’s probable that there will be pieces of this book that are hard to read. It’s probable that you will be at war with yourself through most of it. But if you can allow yourself to be in the room with Lilly, really be there with her, it’s also probable that you’ll learn something, realize something, awaken something in yourself that you otherwise might not have.
I read to experience. I read to expand. I read to awaken. So even though the process of this book took me off guard and elicited a visceral and overwhelming response from me that I was unprepared to manage, I am grateful for it. Grateful for Bromberg’s innate ability to write in such a way that speaks so loudly, clearly and unabashedly to me. Grateful for her constant courage as an author and her unrelenting storytelling mastery.