<><><> Betsie's Literary Page <><><>

Behind Closed Doors
Home | Book Reviews | FREE Celebrity Addresses | Celebrities Page 2 | Celebrities Page 3 | Get Reviewed! | Writers Showcase | Major Record Labels | Guerrilla Publicity | Print Magazines | Independent Bookstores | Specialty Shops | Media Contacts | Celebrity Production Companies | Author Friendly Radio Shows | Screenwriting | Screenwriter Agents | Author/Talent - Agents | Advice to Authors | Want your Book Noticed? | Writer's Services | Internet Resources | "How To" Articles | Other Online Reviewers | Newspaper Book Reviewers | Recipes | Movie Reviews | Links | Meet the Reviewers | About Me


Amazing insight into the dynamics of relationships between victims and abusers

Title: Behind Closed Doors

Author: Susan R. Sloan

Publisher: Warner Books (August 2004)

Genre: Fiction/Family Violence

Hardcover: 467 pages

ISBN: 0446530298



Rating: Highly Recommended


June 30, 2004


The 1950's, an era in which families taught their daughters how to prepare for married life. This was an interesting decade in which many of your grandparents were settling into comfortable lives and having children (your parents- perhaps). Women were encouraged, and more so expected to stay at home, keep house, raise children and obey their spouse.


Such was life for Valerie OConnor, a woman who grew up in the 50's. By the summer of 1955 at the tender age of 18 Valerie visits her sister in Boston where she falls in love with a striking young man named, Jack Marsh. Jack had served in the Korean War, was smooth, he was worldly in many things. Against Martin O'Connor's better instincts, by the end of December Valerie and Jack are wed.


Their wedding night turns into a complete disaster, as Jack is only interested in satisfying his needs, in turn Valerie has a lifelong repulsion to sex. Shortly after Jack whisks his new bride to Seattle where things begin to unravel. Even so, Valerie performs her wifely duties and is thrilled after having given birth to five children before she is given news that she cannot have anymore due to health reasons.


Behind Closed Doors spans across time and into a two generations of the Marsh family and its secrets. The author's descriptive work reveals one of society's worst social problems: domestic violence, focusing on an abuser and a co-dependent victim. A social problem worthy of academic debate, and one that still exists today.


Afraid to seek help from society; Valerie feels bound by traditional Irish-Catholic beliefs that it is wrong to air your dirty linen in public. She attempts to hide the problem for many years, during which the situation worsens, as Jack's drunken outbursts spiral out of control. The Marsh children fear for their own safety. All of which later begin to exhibit a range of problem behaviors. Problems, Valerie can't or won't face.


Behind Closed Doors is filled with psychological suspense. Maybe after reading this novel, all you women out there will understand your Mothers and/or Grandmothers a little bit better. I found this book particularly riveting, powerful, and engaging. The torment Valerie receives, accepts, then takes into her own hands and survives is amazing!


NEVER BORING! No one would be wasting their money on this book. It's a fascinating read even if you feel you have no reason to take an interest.


Reviewed by M. Romero