Outskirts Press (2013)
Reviewed by Sheri Bebee for Reader Views (02/14)
“Letting Go” by Belinda Tors is the story of one woman’s determination to break free from the cycle of abuse. Margery Arturo is the mother of two children and is abused by her husband, Tony. After twenty years of cruelty, neglect and belittlement Margery has finally had “enough”. With her son safely away at college, Margery takes her teen-aged daughter Lola and moves into an apartment at a women’s shelter, where she is also able to secure a job as a social worker. The living conditions are tight and her income small, but Margery feels like things are starting to look up. Tony, however, continues to torment Margery and Lola from a distance, making threats and withholding child support, as well as Margery’s half of the divorce settlement. Can Margery stay the course, remain strong and break the cycle of abuse?
Abuse is a very serious social issue and anything that can be done to raise awareness about this issue is a good step. That being said, while I feel like “Letting Go” had all the components of a great story and the potential to carry the message, it never quite developed into anything profound. I felt like the characters were for the most part one-dimensional. There was a little more depth around Margery, but not in a good way. I found her to be a very shallow person, especially for a woman that is a social worker. I was extremely disappointed in the way she handled many situations involving her children, and was put off entirely with one of the scenes involving her new boyfriend.
I know I’m being fussy but I had a difficult time following the story the way it was written. There was a lot of dialogue which is great but I often got lost and couldn’t figure out who was talking without re-reading several times. Also, the author used a lot of hyphens to emphasize a lot of words she apparently wanted dragged out into multiple syllables: i.e., pl-ease for please, no-thing for nothing, ye-e-es for yes, well-l for well, etc. This was incredibly annoying and totally distracting to me and I feel like it was entirely unnecessary.
Although it presented the seriousness of the spousal abuse issue, “Letting Go” was just “ok” for me, mainly due to the writing style the author chose to present the story. I do think the story and the message is worth reading and I commend the author for bringing awareness to this issue, I just wished it would have been developed in a different way.