Published by Amazon Digital Services on June 13, 2016
Genres: Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Psychological Horror
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In the aftermath of a brutal car crash, Doris Cassidy begins to mourn the death of her husband. From her hospital bed, now a young widow, she contemplates the rest of her life alone and depressed, no longer able to share memories with the only man she ever loved. Until a doctor reveals a shocking surprise to her - she's pregnant. And she's due to give birth at any minute...
Just as she realises the car crash was caused by her mysterious stomach pains, Doris goes into unexpected labour and gives birth to a child she instantly despises. Unforgiving and hateful, and on the brink of insanity, she has no intention of being a dutiful mother to the baby that took everything from her.
Which is when she names the baby Charlotte...
AWAKENING: The Prequel to Charlotte (The Charlotte Chronicles Book 2), by Stuart Keane, takes us back to the origins of Charlotte–her life BEFORE we read about her during the events in CHARLOTTE. Although this is a “prequel”, I loved the fact that I had read Charlotte first, as one of my remaining thoughts on that one was “what was Charlotte’s story BEFORE this?”. Keane gives us that answer here in all its gut-wrenching brutality.
After Doris Cassidy loses her husband in a car accident, she is informed by a doctor treating her that she is pregnant, and having the baby THEN. Bereft of a normal life due to her husband’s traumatic death, Doris finds herself both a widow and mother in the same day. While she blames her baby, Charlotte, for the loss of her emotional life and the happiness she once had, we enter the disturbing world that becomes Charlotte’s existence.
Keane doesn’t let up in any of his descriptions of Charlotte’s upbringing. Regardless of what is happening, I couldn’t possibly tear my eyes from the page–I HAD to know what was going to happen next. Although a fictional novel, this story tells all too well of the neglect and abuse that DOES go on around us today. Charlotte is a character that is so completely fleshed out that you will come to regard her as a “real” person, and never stop pulling for her, emotionally.
“. . . A child’s innocent gaze darkens forever when their parents turn on them, it’s a disgusting, unavoidable fact that exists in today’s society, and you can’t hide it . . .”
The tension and expectation never let up in this tale. Even the ending landed on a note that was all consuming, and one that wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be.
“. . . If I’m wrong, they’ll live here happily ever after. However, if I’m right, they’ll rue the day . . . “
Highest recommendation–not for those easily disturbed!
Also recommended, CHARLOTTE (The Charlotte Chronicles Book 1), and coming October 31, 2016, AMY: The Sequel To Charlotte (The Charlotte Chronicles Book 3).