Monday, 7 July 2014

Book Review: Who Are You? By Elizabeth Forbes

Hello fellow book-lovers!

I am happy to tell you that I finally finished reading "Who Are You?" by Elizabeth Forbes. It has taken me quite a while to read, not because the story wasn't good (because it was!) but because I've been so busy with college and work. 

So, let's start my review of the book. 

If I were to describe the book using only one word, it would be: unbelievable. I chose this word because some of the lies certain characters tell, and some of the awful things that happen within the book, are unbelievable. 
During the beginning of the book I was introduced to the main characters: Juliet - Wife, Mother, Friend and a woman that is fragile but very admirable, Alex - Husband to Juliet, Father, Son and a soldier that has been broken inside, Geraldine - Mother to Alex and a woman that has been through a lot in her life, and finally, Ben - Son to Juliet and Alex, who has been in the middle of his parents throughout their struggles.

After finishing the book, I realise that Juliet, Alex and Geraldine have been through a lot of the same experiences in their lives and they are very similar to each other. 
It was interesting reading about Juliet's "normal" life at the beginning, but this soon changes when a Alex is introduced. 
Reading about the horrible abuse Alex put Juliet through is just unthinkable, but you then realise how much of an effect war has had on his life. He saw his friends get killed in front of his eyes, and he even had to kill as well. As he says in the book, he just became a killing machine with no emotion or feelings, and this is really sad. 
Juliet also had a hell of a life with him, because he was suffering with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). He would control her, and he didn't like it when she told her friends about him hurting her, but the thing I hated most about him was that he lied, and tried to make Juliet seem like the one doing wrong. I am trying very hard not to spoil the book!

But did Juliet have any shoulders to cry on? Yeah, they came in the name of Rowena and the Internet forum. Juliet and Rowena are good friends throughout the book, and Rowena suspects something's wrong, but Alex tries to twist it. Read the book to find out what he does! Through an Internet forum for women living with someone that has PTSD, she shares her problems with them, and eventually finds a way out of her hell...or does she? 

The last quarter of the book is within the second part of the book called Retreat. This is where the beginning of the end starts; it contains many unbelievable moments. I'm really glad that the book didn't end on a cliffhanger, and it was nice to see that Rowena was still there to be a friend and support Juliet. 
Luckily, through it all, Ben - their 5 year old son - was relatively unharmed. He was the target of some of Alex's PTSD rampages, but I am so glad the book ended the way it did, and not the way I thought it would! 

So, my overall opinion in this book is that it was a really good story. I very nearly gave up reading it after a quarter of the way through, but then the story really picked up which made me barely able to put it down! It's my first time reading a book about PTSD, and it was very interesting to say the least! It opened my eyes as to how much PTSD can affect a person and their family. Asking for help doesn't make you weak, it allows people to see how strong you are to want to sort out your problems. 

I really recommend this book, it was well written and a jaw-dropping, unbelievable pleasure to read.  
Applause to Elizabeth Forbes, and I wish you the best of luck with this book. 

That was my review. A bit more detailed than normal, but that may be because it's fresh in my mind. 
My rating for this book is: 4 out of 5. 

Thank you for reading!

Keep your eyes out for a Q&A with Elizabeth Forbes very soon! 

Amy :-) 


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