After having moved so many times, Cameron is finally feeling fairly at home in her routine with Oliver, caring for him as she would an elderly grandfather. But when she suddenly receives a letter from her ex-best-friend, Sonia, it cuts into her world and forces her to remember their friendship, and it chisels at the wall she’s build around herself. Oliver furthers that by sending Cameron on a mission to find Sonia in his own underhanded way, and it takes Cameron on an odyssey through her past as a way to pave her future.
It took a bit of time for this novel to capture my full attention and I believe it was because it took me awhile to like the main character, Cameron. She is introduced as a bit aloof, unattached. But as I read on, I came to understand why that was so. She’s had to move many times, as a military child, and so she’s had to adjust so many times to new situations and social norms. And then there were the disappointments and the pain, one after the other. She has hardened herself, now, and she’s afraid to be vulnerable. However, as she succumbs to the pressure of having to search for Sonia, her heart is gradually pried open by the memories that come rushing back to her and she finds her humanity – and softness – again.
One of the most striking characters is Sonia’s mother. She is severely mentally ill and abusive of Sonia both psychologically and physically. What I think is so well portrayed in this novel is not only the abuse itself, but how the abuse instills a sense of helplessness in not only the direct victims, but in those around the victims, so that they, in turn, become casualties of the abuse themselves. There is a clear ripple effect that causes very tragic collateral damage. It almost seems to have affected those around Sonia even more, perhaps, than Sonia herself. I wonder if this might actually be more realistic than we know.
This is a tender story of friendship and trust, forgiveness and humanity that I ultimately enjoyed more than I thought I would. I think you will too…