Erica M. (Chicago, IL)
Just because my life was so hectic at the time - it took me a long time to read this book. I couldn't wait to sit down with it each time I had the chance and found the story compelling, the movement forward consistent and the telling of each party's part to bring the story to a consistent whole workable. However, I found the resolution both predictable and unbelievable. Until the denouement, I would have rated the book a 5. The book had to have a resolution. I just wish I could have felt that it was one that made sense given the characters' respective roles and baggage.
Dorothy M. (Owatonna, MN)
The Edge of Normal
Perfect title. The characters are well developed. Reeve, the main character, helps the reader better understand that it takes time for someone who has been held captive to become "normal". Even with her family, she feels uncomfortable. Thanks to her therapist she begins helping Tilly, a young twelve year old girl who has just escaped. At this point the plot really takes off.
At times the suspense was almost too much, but this is what makes this a good book. When I now read of real life women who have lived through this earthshaking experience, I will think of this book. It is fiction, but the author Carla Norton has researched this topic and has written a very realistic novel.
Cheryl K. (East Aurora, NY)
"Ripped from the Headlines....."
Carla Norton's novel, The Edge of Normal, could have been just another story of abduction, depravity,horror, rescue......taken from our daily newspapers. Ms. Norton told her story as if she had experienced every horrific moment that Reeve, Tilly, Hannah, Abby suffered.
Her characters are extremely expressive, particularly Reeve. I would highly recommend this book to readers who love a psychological thriller that not only is difficult to put down, but also stays in your mind and heart well after finishing it.
Darcy C. (San Diego, CA)
A Solid Read - but not a Great Read
I wanted to like this book more, but found that the story didn't grab me; but it was a solid read and I didn't get bored with it. One thing I really liked was how the author would foreshadow something, but I didn't realize she was dropping a hint..... until the object or "thing" popped up in the story later. I find those tidbits to be very satisfying. Possibly the reason I didn't love this book is that I couldn't really "get into" the protagonist. Maybe a reader could if she had gone through a hostage, or house-bound situation. I did relate to the protagonist in that she was trying to help others - I liked that very much about her. Please don't NOT read this book because I said it's not a "Great Book". It's a solid read and you don't get bored. BookBrowse has set a high-bar for the books that we are lucky enough to preview. I'm going to be interested in how this book sells. I will definitely read her next book and hope that one is the Great Book that I'm looking for.
Tracy N. (Mill Valley, CA)
An Intelligent Psychological Thriller!
An intelligent psychological thriller…. Reeve LeClaire, 22 years old, is trying to regain her life. It has been six years since her kidnapping and horrific years of captivity. With the help of her psychiatrist she struggles to recover to "normal". When another kidnapped girl is rescued, Reeve is asked to mentor the victim. Drawn by the similarities between their cases, Reese begins to connect the dots on a serial sadistic kidnapper with eventual repercussions.
Reeve is a tough, smart, and my new hero! A captivating and timely novel by Carla Norton. This author clearly knows her subject matter as her previous non-fiction book- Perfect Victim is used by the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit and makes her an expert in captivity and survival. As a psychiatric nurse who worked in the prison system and with victims of crime, this is a very real page-turner!
Ann S. (Shenandoah, IA)
The Edge of Normal
Unfortunately, the disturbing abductions in The Edge of Normal could be taken from today's headlines. Perhaps that fact was an impetus for the author. Norton has done an incredible amount of research.
We do not normally learn about the details and struggles of those who have returned to the family after suffering horrendous abuse and anguish. The protagonist, Reeve/Reggie portrays a great deal of strength and fortitude in moving forward. She also seems authentic in her doubts and questions about her ability to forge normal relationships and life.
This book was difficult at times to read but it was well written and tended to draw me in. I do wonder if parts were realistic, but one never knows how far a young person will go to pursue their goals.
Monica G. (San Antonio, TX)
The Edge of Average
Don't get me wrong here. It's a good story with strong lead character who is intelligent and likable. However, based on the book's description, I anticipated more psychological insight into the protagonist's frame of mind after her own ordeal. Instead, we have a story with a somewhat predictable plot line and a somewhat predictable ending. On the plus side, if the author creates a series with her protagonist as a detective specializing in abduction cases, there may be hope yet!