Saturday 7 December 2013

Unforgiven by Elizabeth Finn

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 Stars

“…your punishment is a far-reaching thing that destroys more lives than just your own.” 

verb \fər-ˈgiv, fȯr-\
: to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) : to stop blaming (someone)
: to stop feeling anger about (something) : to forgive someone for (something wrong)

How long is too long? A lapse in judgement that has never had more serious consequences, something so bad that the person will never forgive themselves, always feeling guilty and always feeling ashamed. Unfortunately life goes on. What happens when you have to go back to the scene of that lapse in judgement, the town hate you, they certainly have not forgiven, but how can you expect others to forgive when you have not forgiven yourself? This is the situation that Bailey found herself in, she had to return to the “scene of her crime.” Having spent the last 6 years in prison, she had nothing, she had no-one but her mum, she had no choice and her mum needed her. Could her life ever be the same again?

You never actually knew what Bailey’s crime was in the beginning but it does come out during the course of the book. Yes it is bad, but it was an accident, it wasn’t premeditated, it was an unfortunate course of events where a few different people can say they played a part, but at the end of the day the culpability is all on Bailey. She has paid her price though, in more ways than one, things that she cannot get back and now she has to face the consequences.

I really felt for Bailey throughout this book, you could tell that she was no criminal. She didn’t have a bad bone in her body and that made the treatment that she received a bitter pill to swallow. I couldn’t really understand why Darren hated her so much. The resentment that oozed out of him was hard to read. You knew they had history and a past and you couldn’t help but wonder what happened to make something so good, go so bad.

“I never wanted to hate you. Not ever. You did this.”

The trouble is Darren is torn…it is obvious that he still has feelings for her, even though he knows that he shouldn’t …

“I want…I want so much to hate you. Do you know what that’s like? Do you have any idea what it’s like to see you, smell you, be near you again, feel your skin? Can you imagine what it is to hate someone so much, and yet…You destroyed everything.”

Once you do finally know why, you can understand his behaviour and his attitude towards Bailey. You begin to understand why his feelings are so strong between love and hate. Yes he is in a very difficult situation but can they work it out? Is what they had in the past totally and utterly decimated by what happened or could it be salvageable?

“Would she? Save your shame for that f**king b***h upstairs who took…!! She doesn’t deserve shit from me, and if I feel like dragging her worthless ass through my hell and destroying her, then so be it!”

As you can see there is a lot of resentment to work through, but are these Darren’s real thoughts and feelings or is he harbouring guilt of his own?

This is a great story, extremely emotional, very conflicting in parts and extremely thought provoking, after all…

“You don’t fall in love with the person responsible for your greatest loss. And God help you if you do.”

This book was brilliant, I was hooked from start to finish and I couldn’t put it down. Elizabeth Finn always delivers and this is no exception. This book will have you thinking for sure, maybe a few tears, you will be conflicted, you will love and hurt, but it is emotional, passionate and it will swallow you up and spit you out. Yes you will feel as if you have been battered and bruised, but it would have been worth it. I cannot wait to see what Elizabeth Finn delivers next.

“You need to understand something. Forgiveness isn’t an emotion. It’s an action, and it’s a choice. It’s the choice to not let the past affect how you feel about her. If you are waiting for some emotional epiphany, it’s not going to happen.”

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