Review: Nelumba Nucifera by Cristina Slough

☆☆➹⁀☆4 stars☆➹⁀☆☆

Title: Nelumbo Nucifera
Author: Cristina Slough
Genre: Thriller/ Womens Fiction

Release Date: January 24th, 2017
Cover Designer: Murphy Rae
Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.

What it’s about:

On the surface, Gaby Parker has it all; however, behind closed doors, is a woman who lives in constant fear of the man who was supposed to love her: her husband, Kyle. Beaten, desperate, and broken, Gaby realizes the only way to escape from her violent husband is to kill herself — on paper. Gaby is dead, and Riley Locklin is born, residing in the tranquil coastal town of Chesswick Bay Montauk where she hopes to start over and meets a man who shows her bruises aren’t kisses. Meanwhile, back home, Kyle is doing everything in his power to prove Gaby isn’t dead. But…police find her burnt-out car and remains? Kyle isn’t buying it; he knows she’s still alive. He launches his own full investigation to find his wife — and he’ll stop at nothing to claim her back. A female Detective assigned to his wife’s case doesn’t like him very much after discovering a domestic violence report – scorned by the history of her mother’s domestic abuse, she’s determined to send Kyle down for his wife’s murder. And then he finds her. Will Gaby finally take a stand? – NELUMBO NUCIFERA

My Thoughts:

Nelumbo Nucifera is a well-written story of a woman escaping an abusive relationship. While it is not a new premise (Sleeping With The Enemy, 1991), it is a compelling, emotional read that I couldn’t put down. Who could not be completely affected by the topic of spousal abuse!

Ms. Slough made me care deeply not only for the main character, Gaby/Riley, but also for Isla, the detective who grew up witnessing her father abusing her mother. Both these women are strong, and both struggle to live their lives in the shadow of this horrible memory. Through Isla’s investigation of Gaby’s disappearance, both women are set free from their past.

The story is evenly paced, and not terribly suspenseful until the culmination of the book. Gaby’s estranged husband, Kyle, is despicable. The extent of his evilness knows no end. From start to finish, he is entitled, self-absorbed and too well connected.

Nelumbo Nucifera is told from multiple perspectives (Gaby/Riley, Isla, and Kyle)—two people affected by abuse and one abuser. Gaby/Riley’s narration should be the most emotional, but after her escape, her narration is mostly about her new life and her (entirely too soon) new love. No one could be unhappy about someone moving on from this sort of trauma, but it felt unrealistic for an abused woman to so easily fall into another romantic relationship. The abusive relationship Isla witnessed in her youth, influences her tenacity in following up on the case of Gaby’s disappearance. I thoroughly enjoyed the banter between Isla and her partner and boss. Kyle’s narration is merely a continuation of his deranged, extreme, violent behavior.

Ms. Slough’s emotional read is made more meaningful by her forward explaining her very personal link to this story. Her message that women in abusive relationships usually suffer alone is poignant and disturbing. While women generally try to hide their abuse, if there is the slightest possibility that a friend, acquaintance or co-worker might be in an abusive relationship, reach out and offer sympathy and assistance.

About the author:  Novelist, movie addict, and animal lover, Cristina Slough is the author of: Till Death Us Do Part, and Nelumbo Nucifera.  She has always been a bookworm and loves delving into a literacy fictional world of her own.

Cristina is married to Adam, who runs a successful business; together they share their Bedfordshire home with their son, and several spoiled pets.  Follow the author:


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