Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review of 'Ripple' by E.L. Farris


When high-powered attorney Helen Thompson discovers that her fifteen-year old daughter has been sexually assaulted, she takes drastic measures.

Finding herself in trouble, Helen must relinquish control and put her faith in a process she knows to be flawed. As a team of lawyers, therapists and women from a safe house help Helen and Phoebe find hope and healing, a sociopath lurks, waiting for his moment to strike.

A lyrical, dark fairytale that will resonate with fans of women's literature and psychological thrillers, RIPPLE delves into the nature of evil, without seeking to provide final answers to the issue of what makes a human commit evil acts. And while the author takes readers to scary places, she ultimately shines a light on the human condition and celebrates the triumph of the human spirit in the face of great tribulation.

**My thoughts**

Wow. I was pretty speechless while reading this book. I was sitting outside in my backyard, with tears practically streaming down my face for the first third of this book, as the assault on Helen's daughter is revealed and Helen starts to get her revenge. I have to say I probably would have wanted to do the same thing she did. I wanted to do something to take away the pain that both Helen and Phoebe were feeling.

Enter some of the other characters, such as Cassandra, the lawyer who has had similar experiences in her life. Anna, the horse trainer, who wasn't sexually assaulted, but has had her own trials and tribulations along the way. Carl, Helen's assistant, who is mistreated for his lifestyle. So many characters with pain who have triumphed in some way or another all work together in a relatively corrupt system to try to help this poor girl.

I felt like Phoebe's reactions to her abuse and interactions with people around her were pretty accurate. One minute, she is happy and loving, and the next she is moody and angry. She is conflicted in how she should be feeling about herself and life in general. Helen is filled with guilt and remorse for not being around enough to notice that something was going on. She quickly learns how to let go of her Type A personality, because she doesn't have a choice. As her relationship with her daughter evolves, so does that between Cassandra and her daughter Catherine. Reading about them made me flashback to being a teenager and my own relationship with my mother.

There are two versions of this book. E.L. Farris had originally written the story for adults. Her ten year-old daughter wanted so badly to read it, that she scaled it back to also make a young adult version. The version I received to review was the YA one. I have to say, it still felt pretty adult to me. I think mature teens could handle reading it. I am not sure I would have allowed a 10 year-old to read it. But this comes from the girl who was devouring such books at the same age, unbeknownst to my parents. I would highly recommend if your child is reading this book, that you read it with her, so that you can discuss it with her. It does lead to all kinds of conversations that parents and trusted adults should be having with their children, especially because the perpetrator is a trusted adult in Phoebe's life.

I am curious about the adult version, and how it differs from the YA one. I may have to check it out. 

Purchase on Kindle / Paperback

**The Kindle version above is for YA readers. The paperback version is for adults.**


Ex-lawyer E.L. Farris is a born-again, marathon-running married mother of three who resides in Northern Virginia.

What else do you need to know about me? I talk a lot. I write a lot. I adore my husband. I adore my children. What else? Well, I run. I’ve been running since I turned 14. I started to run then and I’ve been running ever since. Whenever I stop running, I land in a lot of trouble.

I ran through a childhood that could well be described as hell. I ran through major depressive episodes and often teetered one step from the edge of a breakdown. Through running, I held onto my sanity, my sobriety, my life and my belief in God. Each step I take, no matter how physically painful, draws me a shade closer into my better angels.

And the steps have become painful over the years, which is how I earned the nickname Phoenix. Some mornings I feel like I’ve been run over by a bus and the truth is, I was. I survived a collision with a metro bus, and it’s fair to say that the accident messed me up. And yet I keep rising from the pyre of a burning fire and as I run I realize that as long as I hold the Holy Spirit inside me, my spirit will never die.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, Andi, for your kind review! I agree that most ten year olds should not read this book. I cringed in the case of my daughter, who is *still* asking me questions about Ripple YA. I think it's complicated, because my daughter so very much wants to understand me, and so much of me is a mystery. My daughter picks up bits and pieces of my past, which is not an easy one to talk about, just from hearing me talk and advocate. I always emphasize that I'm healed now, and that my past is behind me.

    As you recommended, anyone who lets their teen read this book should be available to answer questions. It's a tough read about tough issues. But whenever I feel conflicted, I seem to hear about a tough case like Rehtaeh Parsons, and my doubts fade.

    If you get a chance, would you please post your review on Amazon? I think your review is one of the more thoughtful ones I've read, and I very much like for prospective readers to get the full picture. Thanks so much for your kind words!!