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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.