Lacy's End

Fiction - Suspense
312 Pages
Reviewed on 03/15/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I was born in Jamestown NY but raised in California. I obviously love reading, but writing even more. The idea to write a book about domestic abuse came to me when a friend revealed she had been a victim of domestic abuse and nobody knew about it. She suffered for years before she had the courage to break free from the relationship. She shared that the constant verbal and physical abuse diminished her self-esteem and convinced her nobody else could possibly love her.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite

A mother and daughter are trying to escape the clutches of a cruel and brutal man in the suspense novel Lacy's End by Victoria Schwimley. Brenda has been married to Sheriff Peter Waldrip since she was fifteen years old. When she got pregnant with Lacy, Brenda's father insisted that Peter marries her. Now, sixteen years later, after a lifetime of physical and mental abuse, Lacy is pressuring Brenda to leave him before he goes too far. Peter's brutal attacks are intensifying, and the two live in constant fear and terror of another assault. After living under the tyranny of the domineering martinet and with the local residents under the sheriff's thumb, Brenda and Lacy feel they have nowhere to which they can turn and no one who they can trust to help them. However, when Peter gives them both more severe beatings than normal, they both are admitted to the hospital. It is evident to everyone involved that the sheriff's violence is escalating and the two women are in danger. Getting them away from Sheriff Peter Waldrip's control will take a miracle. Will Lacy and Brenda be able to elude the sheriff's considerable influence in the community and survive?

In the riveting suspense novel, Lacy's End by Victoria Schwimley, the difficulty of leaving an abusive situation is well portrayed. It is a powerful story that kept me on the edge of my seat until the final page. The main characters were realistic and relatable. Sheriff Peter Waldrip's character is a prime example of an abuser; he is controlling, sadistic and a bully. Brenda's and Lacy's characters are excellent illustrations of victims in abusive environments. Terrorized, subjugated and defeated, Brenda and Lacy are victims incapable of envisioning a future free of fear and pain. As a result of their circumstances, Lacy and Brenda are co-dependent, which is similar to the two-headed llama, the push-me-pull-you. They can't seem to move forward together, but neither can they do it separately. The book is well-written and absorbing; I loved it. This is an intense novel with compelling characters and a dramatic storyline. I recommend this book to those readers who love a good suspense story with a touch of drama and reality.

TLF Reader

We've probably all seen movies or heard real life stories about people in authority who use their positions of power to do terrible things. This is the ultimate insult when it is the person who is supposed to be upholding the law and even more so when they are terrorizing your family. This is the gripping tale told in author Victoria Schwimley's latest, "Lacy's End." Brenda and her sixteen year-old daughter, Lacy, find themselves at the mercy of Brenda's husband, sheriff and mayor of the town, Peter Waldrip. Waldrip seems to have everyone turning a blind eye to his abuses until the two end up in the hospital and in the hands of a compassionate physician. This was both a heartbreaking​ story and a very intense one that had me in its clutches from the early pages. I found the writing to be very well done and would definitely recommend this one to anyone looking for a great read.

Peace Love Hope

I could not put this book down. The characters are beautifully developed. My heart ached for Lacy and her mother, and at times, I wanted to reach into the pages and give the loathsome Sheriff a walloping. Five thumbs up for this superbly written, intense novel.

An Amazon Customer

I was taken with the intenstity of this story which revolves around Lacy, her mother Brennda, a social worker named Amanda, and what I can only guess was a guardian angel named Jake. In the story the Sheriff of a small town terrorizes his wife and daughter and few are willing to hold him to the law that he professes to stand for. It only takes a few people willing to get tired of the injustice and a whole lot of fight to free these women from their own personal hell at home, and not everyone walks away alive. The author took on a pretty serious topic in this story and told it with such a fiercness and depth that I felt the weight of the burdon these characters endured. It is a heartfelt story told in a vivid way that caused the story and the characters to come alive. It is an ecellent story penned by a well seasoned writer whom I will definately read again. I recieved this book for free in exchange for my honest opionion and it earns an easy 5 stars from me.

Uma Mawaery

I found myself holding my breath at every turn of the page. I felt each blow. Each kick. Each hair pull. Each broken rib. Reading this book was like walking on pins and needles. I dove into Lacy's End without reading any of its reviews, and because of that, I really didn't know how it was going to end.

Victoria Schwimley took me on a journey of understanding. I used to wonder why abused women simply didn't walk away, and while reading this book, I got the answer to my question. It takes courage to walk around with your head high even after all the abuse. And leaving is NOT EASY!

[Peter looked down at his daughter clinging to his leg. With all his might, he kicked her in the lower back, effectively dislodging her. He continued down the hallway, slamming the door behind him. Lacy grabbed her back and cried out in pain. How long she lay there, she didn’t know. She just lay there with her eyes closed until the pain subsided, waiting for the familiar sounds from her parents’ bedroom. She listened as the slaps came, heard her mother whimper, then the sounds of the headboard, and her mother’s cries of pain.]

I felt for both Lacy and Brenda. Both characters were extremely complex. What Schwimley did to these two characters were definitely unthinkable. I mean, I just couldn't turn a page without wondering who was going to die in Peter's hands. The title is Lacy's End! I kept thinking if Lacy's life was going to end!

Another thing I love about this book is how Schwimley describes the supporting characters and shares a backdrop of their lives as well. Angela Martin for one! Knowing why she does the things she does made me respect her character even more. Let's not forget the knight in shining armour (well, white coat), who enters both Lacy's and Brenda's lives and gives them hope. I honestly thought Allen was going to get himself killed. At some point in the book. Was I right? Well, no spoilers here okay.

Then, there's Jake. He was one of the best things in the book! I literally had goosebumps reading the parts where he and Lacy interacted.

[She gasped, turning to stare into the eyes of her new friend. “Jake,” she whispered. “What are you doing here?” She still held the railing. He still held her wrist. “Is this what you really want, Lacy?”]

Why 10 freaking stars? Cause I could not for the life of me put Lacy's End down and my heart kept beating wildly throughout the book! A story so wonderfully and heartbreakingly penned down, Victoria Schwimley deserves a standing ovation for

Charity Rowell-Stansbury

Lacy and her mother, Brenda, have suffered abuse from at the hands of Sheriff Peter Waldrip; a man who has influential members of the community in his pocket, and has intimidated members of the community that have tried to intervene in the past. They have resigned themselves to the fact that nobody can help them, and try to cope with the domestic violence at home to the best of their abilities. When Peter takes the abuse too far, Lacy and Brenda find themselves in the emergency room with Dr. Petoro, a man who refuses to be intimidated by the Sheriff. Dr. Petoro enlists the help of a social worker, and the two of them help Lacy and Brenda realize that there is hope.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Lacy's End by Victoria Schwimley addresses the issue of domestic violence in a realistic, no-holds-barred story in which readers get a glimpse of life in an abusive household from several different perspective; the victims, the healthcare professionals, social workers, teachers, and members of the community.

Schwimley does an excellent job of conveying the different emotions that the characters in each group feel about Lacy and Brenda being subjected to abuse. I felt that all of the characters' thoughts and actions rang true, and was impressed with Schwimley's ability to weave those thoughts and actions together to create a cohesive and compelling story from different points of view.

Poet's Eye

One high school student’s struggle through the silence of domestic violence with a mother that offered little protection against the brutality, being brutalized herself. No one seemed to want to get involved; teachers, principal, neighbors, no one bothered to report the abuse, leaving her feeling that there was no way out. Until the beatings became so severe, with repeated hospital visits, that’s when help arrived in more than one way.

Initially they both refused the help that was offered by lying and providing false accounts of just what would keep them coming back to the hospital with multiple injures, always claiming these to be ‘accidents’. One would think domestic violence was covered under law. But, what if the abuser was the law?

Because of what Lacy was experiencing at home, she experienced the alienation from her fellow classmates who belittled her, knowing by the bruises left just what she was experiencing at home. Then along came Jake, who turned into the one being she could trust to share her deepest thoughts, show her spirit to.

Though the book made me teary at times, through all the drama there was also laughter, love and lessons learned.

A well written riveting and real storyline, well developed characters, truth is, it was hard to put down as I was relating, on some emotional level, my life to theirs.


Lacy's End is a moving and emotional story about a family escaping domestic violence. The book captures your imagination and attention from the start.

All of the characters including the daughter Lacy are very believable and the book is well written and flows very well. The author is a great writer and I recommend this book highly.


No one messes with Sheriff Peter Waldrip. He has the mayor of Diamond Springs - a small town situated two hours from Las Vegas - in his hip pocket, along with just about every judge in the county. It’s little wonder that the entire population of Diamond Springs looks the other way when Sheriff Waldrip abuses his wife, Brenda, and his sixteen-year-old daughter, Lacy.

The abuse has been going on for as long as Lacy can remember; indeed, even before she can remember, as Waldrip’s abuse of Brenda is almost as old as their relationship. And, recently, the beating are increasing in frequency and intensity as Waldrip’s drinking spirals out of control. Lacy’s future looks bleak until Jake - a mysterious boy who no one else can see or hear - enters her life, and Dr. Allen Petoro enter’s Brenda’s.

Author Victoria Schwimley has hit a home run with her compassionate telling of this story of a mother’s and daughter’s search for the courage to escape from a lifetime of abuse, and their struggle to create a new life of hope for themselves. I highly recommend this book to teens and adults alike.


A somber and sometimes terrifying teen, coming of age story involving graphic domestic violence and abuse.
The story follows Lacy and her mother, Brenda, who can't seem to get away from Lacy's father, the town sheriff, who is a power-hungry, abusive alcoholic. The abuse is sometimes graphic, including a rape, so it is not for the squeamish or young children, however if you can handle such fare, the hopeful ending is rewarding.
The story is billed as teen, young adult, contemporary fiction, but I found it to read like a romance in that some of the characters seemed one-dimensional and some of the scenes were melodrama. Where the story shines is in the very real emotional toll that the abuse takes on Lacy and her mother. I found myself wanting to reach through the pages and strangle Lacy's father. He really didn't have a single redeeming quality.
I know very little about such situations, so I found myself teetering between outrage at the abuse and the towns' folks ignoring it and disdain at Lacy and her mother's refusal to leave the man. I know people can feel trapped, but it felt a little overdone to the point where I was having trouble suspending belief. Perhaps that is just my ignorance of how someone can feel so trapped.
I really appreciated the author providing links at the end of the book to help someone who might identify with the characters and want to seek help for their own situations.
Overall I salute the author for broaching such a touchy subject and diving into the associated emotional battlefield.


This is a very well written powerful book! I did enjoy it even though there has been an abuser in my family. I think it changes people and I know it changes families! In this story, no one seemed to want to help right away until things get out of control. I think this book was wroth my reading through all the emotions to get to the end. * I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

JC Steel

Lacy’s End, by Victoria Schwimley, paints a graphic picture of domestic abuse from the point of view of Lacy, the teenage daughter of the town sheriff. Her frequent injuries have been ignored for years by Lacy’s school and the town at large alike, underpinned by the small-town belief that it’s a man’s right to rape his wife and discipline his daughter with his fists, and it takes a visit too many to the local hospital to tip one out-of-town doctor past the point of being able to overlook the situation. Allen Petoro involves social services, and stirs up more fuss than even the sheriff’s office can ignore, but Sheriff Waldrip has a badge, and a gun, and isn’t about to let some upstart doctor stand between him and his rights.

Lacy’s End is a compelling book, well-written and offering a glimpse into the psychology of the abused and the abuser, as well as the all-too-common bystander effect. Victoria Schwimley creates a realistic setting for her story, including a neat contrast between Lacy’s existence and the world of Allen Petoro, and the characters are well-developed and gripping. The touches of romance are well-done, and don’t detract from the main message of the plot. This book has much to offer to all ages of readers – definitely a worth-while read.