Book Review for The Book of Essie by
We all know reality TV isn't real but the idea that it's not only unreal, it's down right manipulative, strategized and fake is somewhat disappointing, even if I secretly know that the way it works. No family has been ever been more "fake" on their reality show than the Hicks family, whose "Six for Hicks" show has made them millions, and famous.
(I couldn't help but think of the Duggars as I read this)
The strong willed daughter, Essie is pregnant. Just a teenager, her mother knows that this is not going to sit well with their millions of fans and having an unwed, pregnant teen will not go over well with their fire-and-brimstone religious following that they've acquired over the years preaching in their church. Essie's pregnancy sets a plan in motion though and soon, everything in her life is about to change. She's played "the game" so well that the people who have been hurting her have no idea what's about to happen. She's seeking vindication on abuse that has been happening for years, and she suspects, is the reason her older sister fled their family years ago and has never been heard from since.
Essie needs to escape the grip her family has on her and the suffocating lies that are restricting her future. She is pregnant, so her mother forms a plan: she will marry right away, even if it's not to the father of the child and pass off the child as his. It's an unsuspecting classmate named Rourke whose parents agree to let their son marry Essie under desperate circumstances. Rourke is totally against everything the Hicks stand for and is not happy with the arrangement, but he has secrets of his own and maybe marrying Essie will be the answer he needs.
Her mother thinks she is solving the "problem" by piling up more lies upon lies, trying to protect the empire she has built around her reputation of a God-Fearing woman. Those lies are stacking up too high and soon will come tumbling down.
You'll go through many emotions as you read this book: fear, disgust, distrust, compassion and understanding. When a book evokes that much emotion, I know it's well written and worth of a rave review.
There's some unsettling topics in this book so if you are sensitive to topics like abuse, it's not the book for you. It's not graphic but still upsetting. However, I do think it's very important to read about these topics because it shows the importance of giving women a voice so they are not afraid to tell their stories and admit that they are victims, not be complacent or deserving of any type of abuse.
I received a review copy from Alfred Knopf Publishing in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.
Out June 12, Purchase The Book of Essie Here.