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Reviewed by Robin Goodfellow for Readers' Favorite
The Killing Cure by C.S. Kendall is a dark romance about doing whatever it takes to save the person you love, even if it means losing yourself in the end. Ginny is a well-respected nurse who works at a retirement home. She is known for her kindness and compassion, and looks out for the patients in her care, as well as their families. One day, she notices a book near an elderly woman, and decides to read it. She reads about a young woman named Julia, an aspiring doctor who decides to marry her childhood friend, Charlie. In an unfortunate twist of events, Julia is stricken with tuberculosis. As she’s wasting away, Charlie urges her to drink a special water that is said to cure any ailment, no matter how serious. Innocence decays in this gripping romance, and Kendall shows beautifully that love and insanity are truly one and the same.
I loved Julia and Charlie. Julia’s fall from sanity, as she slowly succumbs to her murderous impulses, was torturous and beautifully eerie. But despite that, Charlie refused to leave her, though even Julia herself told him she was no good for him. It shows how devoted he is to her, that he really will follow her to the ends of the earth if need be. Kendall also leaves something to be said about their love with the cure he gave Julia. He was so desperate to save her he was willing to accept anything at that point. What’s more, Julia returns the favor, murdering those just like her if it means seeing Charlie again. Thus, Kendall deals with true love in a way we’re all familiar with. After all, though some might say otherwise, people would risk anything to see their loved ones safe. It’s that sort of thinking that made Juliet kill herself to join Romeo, or Tristan to rush after Isolde, or even Titus to kill his beloved son to relieve him of his suffering. It’s this sorrowful cycle that forces us to see the thorns growing in an enchanting garden, or the shadows lurking within a beautiful wedding. The tragedy surrounding Julia and Charlie was reminiscent of the wonderful, evanescent love stories we know so well. Beginning with the same desperation, the two lovers begin their descent into madness until, finally, they’re trapped in a cycle of chasing each other, but never catching one another. I’d recommend this book to fans of The Last Valentine and Lara’s Journal.