So Much Bad In The Best Of Us

Fiction - Womens
221 Pages
Reviewed on 08/24/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

Set between the late 1950s and ‘60s, a young woman who has endured innumerable suffering and abuse since her childhood searches for love no matter what it takes--even at the risk of moral transgressions. Author Cheryl Robillard brings dark and gritty undertones to her novel So Much Bad In The Best Of Us. This dramatic illustration of loss, trauma, delinquency, and coming of age sets the bar high in transgressive feminist fiction and in exploring the female psyche. In a story that makes a reader feel both pity and discomfort, Robillard unleashes Lolo, a female protagonist embodying existential crisis. Her cunning acts of deception draw opprobrium that she veils with her humor and chutzpah. As the narrator, Lolo projects a deceptive amiability on the surface but she is broken deep within. She confesses the abuses she has gone through with an air of innocence that gives the narration the tone of a calm but disturbed patient confessing to her analyst.

Robillard succeeds in grabbing your attention on the first page and she will keep you turning pages as you want to know more about Lolo’s inconvenient truths. So Much Bad In The Best Of Us is raw in its candid portrayal of revealing the things we would rather keep to ourselves. It is unsparing in exhibiting the dark angles of human relationships, familial or not. At the end of the story, we suspend our judgment and view things with an open-mindedness because we cannot blame Lolo for her actions. This is a grim but sensitive tale of confession with a well-developed character with no apprehensions. And the paradox is that the more Lolo gets herself into trouble, the more we find ourselves supporting and following her--an indication of a well-developed character moving within a well-developed plot.