I’d had Annabelle in my ‘to be read’ pile for a while, but I finally got around to it in February. Initially I picked it up as a light read. I was taking my daughter for her weekly swimming lesson and, being small, I thought it would be easy to dip into and finish within a couple of sessions. I was definitely not prepared. Do not be fooled. Annabelle maybe small, but she is mighty!
Set in the old Wild West, you are instantly transported to streets of dirt, wooden buildings, and saloons that were definitely not for young women from good families. Making a living was hard, having a life of your own was even harder.
I don’t like to give too much away with my reviews, I would rather my readers pick up the book and read it for themselves. There aren’t many pages, but small definitely doesn’t mean sweet on this occasion. What you will read is something raw, immensely powerful, and moving. Despite her vigilante persona, you would be hard pressed to find fault in Annabelle’s motives.
On the outside, Annabelle is a young woman who dresses well and speaks with good manners. To the towns that she passes through, she would make a good prospect for any gentleman to have hanging off his arm. But, that’s the last thing she would ever agree to be.
Whilst the book is set within the Old West, Annabelle’s views and opinions are much more modern, and you have to wonder how she would get on today. Why should she be somebody’s property? How do men think it is okay to lay a hand upon a woman? Why can’t no mean no? Why is it always the woman’s fault?
The sad truth is that thousand’s of women, and some men, ask these questions every day and still don’t get an answer. Too many times the victim is tainted and stigmatised. They were asking for it. It was the clothes they were wearing. They’d already said yes.
This tale will leave you with a sense of pride for Annabelle, but with that comes a heavy dose of realisation. What she has gone through has been felt by countless others, and will continue to do so, unless a change is made. Until you have walked in the shoes of the victims of these crimes, you will never truly understand the self loathing, blame and need for vengeance that swirl around in a never ending cycle.
This is something that Elexis is able to put across so beautifully. You feel Annabelle’s emotions. You are there for every twist and turn of her inner thoughts, and you do understand.
A quick read. A powerful read. A must read.
Speak soon, Jodie xxx