My Rating ***
Samantha Chruch is a woman who led a wretched life for years. She is a woman whose true position in her own family was just a lust-satisfying machine for over-sexed father resulting into the losing of her own self-worth. While the death of her father was one of the happiest moments of her life, the deep marks left on her mind by her father are still fresh in her mind. This has not only affected her life but also her psychology. It is her mind and soul which have really suffered far greater damage. Compelled to clean those unpleasant memories from her mind, she turned towards the alcohol as drinking gave her protection from all those acrid recollections. However, she did not realise that she was getting caught in a vicious circle from which there is no escape. This drinking habit resulted into losing her a decent journalistic career at a daily newspaper. Her relationship with her husband (Jonathan Chruch) and daughter (April) has gone astray. All of this has caused Samantha to accept the fact that people surrounding her may treat her like a subhuman creature, to be ignored or bullied as the occasion demands.
However, this was not the end of Samantha’s wretched life. One day, she found out that her sister (Robin) has fallen from the balcony of her eleventh floor apartment to death. While this death is ruled as a suicide, Samantha felt that something is not right. She took a vow to find out the reality of her sister’s death and threw herself into finding out what really happened to her sister. The readers follow Samantha (in ‘The Friday Edition’ by Betta Ferrendelli) as she digs deep into a mystery and struggles with a greater enemy – her dependency on alcohol, which has already cost her the respect of her peers, and, most importantly, the custody of her own daughter. Will she be able to not only find out the truth but also cope with her drinking problems? Well! You have to read the book for that. While I will not give away any of the story line, I must tell you that there is an airtight plot with a surprising end that you won’t see coming.
The author understands the psychology of an alcoholic person very well. However, her picture of an alcoholic person is both objective and balanced. The obvious temptation for any author handling a problem like this is to speak to a brief, to overstate the case and to divide his/her characters neatly into sheep and goats. The author withstands this temptation ably in this novel. There is an unmistakable freshness of approach and insight in the presentation of the character of Samantha. One can praise the author for her ability to present the physical fact cleanly in its identity as physical fact unburdened by emotional or idealistic suggestion. It is precisely because there is no straining to load it with such implication that the object calls attention to itself. The author’s art is a rare feeling for the importance and density of things. The author can tell both a racy tale and probe into human psychology. This story of Samantha is imbued with depth and complexity, and also with sincerity and conviction. Here, is an art, if you please, that works not by compressed wealth but by excision of the accustomed –and hence effete- brilliance.
In the end, I sincerely thank the author for sending me an autographed copy of this beautifully woven tale of Samantha. I really cherished this autograph copy.
Blurb of the Book (From Goodreads)
Christmas is coming to Denver, Colorado, but it isn’t only snow that’s falling.
A beautiful young woman, who also happens to be a Truman County Assistant DA, tumbles from her apartment balcony to her death on Christmas Eve.
The incident is ruled a suicide, but the DA’s sister, newspaper reporter Samantha Church, isn’t buying it.
Feverishly Samantha throws herself into finding out what really happened to her sister. She pursues her sister’s killers, maneuvering through a minefield of intrigue deliberately set out to divert her from the truth. She invariably stumbles when confronted by the inescapable specter of a greater enemy: the alcohol dependency that has already cost her the respect of her peers, and, worse, custody of her daughter.
Samantha must summon the courage to face not only a cartel of criminals, but also her own demons. Physically threatened and betrayed, she nearly defeats herself through her own insecurities and fears. She not only must summon the courage to get beyond her own shortcomings, but she must work quickly to beat her nemesis – a reporter at the major metropolitan daily newspaper, who is also in close pursuit of the developing story.
Can Samantha ultimately prevail, write the biggest story of her career, and finally begin to change her life before it is too late?