It’s my turn on the BlogTour for Silencing Anna by Sadie Mitchell. It’s a psychological thriller with a focus on domestic abuse. It’s a tense emotional read and a warning in a world full of duplicitous charmers and abusers who go unpunished.
About the Author
This is Sadie’s first novel. She has three children and and a rabbit. She works in healthcare. When she’s not writing or working most of her life seems to involve picking up toys and finding things she’d forgotten she has.
About the book
Voices surround Anna as she lies on her hospital bed, but she cannot answer them. Her voice has been taken, along with her mobility and her sight. She can hear the nurses chattering and her family that come to visit. Her mum cries a lot and her dad struggles to deal with what he sees. Life used to be good for Anna, but life can change in a heartbeat, as she knows so well.
And then there are the people we think we know. When the smile hides the anger. When the beauty hides the beast.
Only Anna knows the truth, but Anna cannot speak.
Stories about domestic abuse are always emotional and can be hard to read. The hope is that even the fictional ones will encourage victims to recognise the abuse, to speak out and to get help.
Anna is trapped in her own body with no physical ability to communicate with anyone. Her devastating injuries have left her in limbo. She can hear and have inner dialogue with herself, but she is unable to tell anyone what really happened. Her boyfriend James has been identified as a violent abuser who deserves to be sat in jail for assault.
James is quite typical for an abuser, it’s always the victim who is at fault and he goes as far as to malign her name to shift the blame. This type of abuser often has one face for the victim and another for everyone else. The charmer becomes the violent controlling aggressor, whilst convincing outsiders that he is a friendly loving guy.
He has previous relationships with supposedly violent women, which means his friends and family tend to support and believe him. It also means they are more likely to believe any scenario he presents to them. The contradiction is the way he manipulates, controls and isolates Anna.
One of the interesting questions which arises in this premise is whether omitting the truth is the way to get justice. Does the violence and abuse justify this silent form of vigilantism? It may only be a passing thought or hidden under the guise of karma, but does it make the victim as guilty as the perpetrator?
Sometimes you have to fight dirty when your opponent will go to any length to bring you down. Forget two wrongs don’t make a right, when the abusers tend to hold all the legal cards and the reality is there is no protection from a person who has the law on their side the majority of the time.
Mitchell brings an interesting twist to the table. The kind of moral twist that makes the reader want to protect the victim, but at the same time rid the world of the abuser. Is saving the life of many worth the life of one?
It’s a tense emotional read, especially in regards to the Anna being entombed in her own body. A warning in a world full of duplicitous charmers and abusers who go unpunished.
Publisher: 3P Publishing, Pub. date July 2018