What is it about verbally abused children that make them keep trying to please their parents even though that will never happen? Julia (Jules) was the eldest daughter, now grown and married with a child of her own. She has a sister and brother, Joanne and Andrew. Jules and Joanne arrive for their mother’s birthday celebration. Soon after Jules arrives, her dad, Robert Whitman, goes to his computer, while her mom, Aida, starts in on her. Their financial crisis is all her fault for giving her dad the computer. He’s invested in penny stocks and they’re, quite frankly, losing their butts.
Not only that, but both parents seem to think it’s a drop in the bucket for Jules to bail them out of their crisis. Their assisted living community, Safe Harbor, is costing $5K per month! So, Jules dutifully doles out $11K at her mother’s insistence to get them through the next couple of months. Jules and her husband are now at odds. His main concern is their daughter who needs money for college. Yet Jules continues to support her parents who are refusing to move in with anyone and lose their lucrative lifestyle.
Oh boy! This book brought out some strong anger in me. As I read more, I could see a pattern forming. Some chapters were given over the Robert and Aida and the reader could see that they had also received their share of verbal abuse. Sadly, though, the abuse was also physical for Andrew. He had not shown up for Aida’s party. In fact, he didn’t show up for quite a bit of their lives. The scenes played out on the pages of this story are intense. The reader feels the desire to sit down with Jules and shake some sense into her. The author expertly places us in the midst of a very dysfunctional family. Rating: 4 out of 5.