Book and Author Details:
Description from Author:
Daniel Masenda thought he had made peace with his dark past when he left his home for a better life fourteen years ago. As the mayor of a small, tranquil town along Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Daniel has everything he ever wanted – until a series of haunting visions, coupled with the death of his estranged mother, pits him against two ghostly entities at war with one another. Each has its own agenda as they force Daniel to relive moments from his violent youth and push him to the edge of insanity. As his idyllic life begins to unravel, will he be able to decipher the message behind the hauntings before they destroy, not only him, but the soul of someone he left behind?
My Review / Thoughts:
My review is going to be a different kind of review on this book. Instead of writing my thoughts on the book, I am going to write a more personal take on the book. I really feel I was supposed to read this book the very moment I did.
One thing I will say about this book is that if you had an abusive, violent childhood, some of scenes in the book are triggers.
If I didn’t know better, I would say that the author peeked into my life as a child with my psychotic, abusive drunk mother. The scenes with young “Danny” were so strongly written, I found myself in a state of panic reading each onset of abuse. I know it’s a book. I know it’s a story. I just could not separate my childhood from how the author described each scene. It was so close to reality, it was down right scary.
The horrible things Danny’s mother said to him echoed verbatim things said to me. I relate 100% to Danny/Daniel and the choices that lead him to become estranged to his mother, much like I am with mine today.
The book really brought to light the choices we make as humans. The choices that leave us here, tethered to humanity even in our afterlife. Abandoned and stuck for eternity to live out the horror we put others through. This book goes deeper than a just a great supernatural story.
ANYONE who’s come from that past has a crossroads they reach. Anyone from that past has decisions to make.
Anyone from that past, who has children today, fight EVERY SINGLE DAY, not to become that person.. that inner struggle.. good/bad/light/dark.
I will say though, the scenes of abuse are so richly, honestly, harshly poetic. From the physical pain to the emotional anguish, it really has triggered a lot of memories. It was hard to read. However, it’s beautiful to read at the same time. It’s cathartic. Truly.
One of the main things I enjoyed about this book, other than the intense descriptive writing, was the introduction to Miranda “Randy” Lorenson. She was the main character in the book, “By Your Side”, also written by Phil Giunta. We had the chance to glimpse into Randy’s life as a child as well. “By Your Side” can be found on my Book Case Review #6.
They say when you watch a movie and you walk away hating a character so much it leaves an impression on you about them, that’s outstanding acting…right?
Well, if you read a book and you walk away reflecting your own life and how you approach certain people in your life, then it’s PHENOMENAL WRITING! Phil Giunta does such a stellar job at writing out this book, I literally took the time to focus on certain areas of my life that I have been trying to avoid…
Much like the main character in “Testing the Prisoner.” I do not want to be a prisoner of my own choices in life.