I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Other Gloria by L. A. Villafane
Published by Empire Publishing on July 15, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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The truth lies in what she can't remember.
There is another who harbors her unspeakable secrets.
Meeting her is where the danger lies.
On a dark January night in 2019, Gloria finds herself behind the wheel of a car, beaten and covered in blood. She has no idea where she's coming from, or where she might be headed. After pulling to the side of the road, she begins to fade out of consciousness.
The next thing she experiences is waking in bed next to a man who should be her beloved fianc , Rick. However, she soon discovers it is her dangerous ex-husband, Charles, whom she thought she had escaped two years earlier, in 2017. She eventually finds that the year she was woken to is 2003, and she is living her life with this abusive man all over again.
Due to the abuse she endured, Gloria suffers from dissociative disorder, which has stolen the memories of her two young daughters growing up. There is another who holds these memories; the Other Gloria. She thinks maybe God has given her a do-over, and she might be able to do better, stay present, and recover the lost memories of their childhood. She knows, to do this, she must escape Charles once again.
Gloria's plan for escaping this time around includes finding Rick, who doesn't know she exists in 2003, but she soon comes to the realization that meeting Rick will not be enough. She knows she must do the one thing she never wanted to do - meet the Other Gloria and finally discover the unspeakable secrets she holds.
This is my review of the incredibly beautiful novel, The Other Gloria by L.A. Villafane. Following on from a very chilling first chapter, being introduced to Gloria was reminiscent of an out of body experience. She enimates the aura of a ghost trying to find her way into the afterlife. Its chilling, eerie and claustrophobic. It set the tone for the entirety of the novel, there was an undercurrent of fear and worry, it was addictive, and it left me with palpitations. The things Gloria had to endure broke me. It felt akin to reading about the pain a close friend was going through. It kept me on my toes and chilled me to the bone.
The Other Gloria was the haunting realisation that trauma can kick the brain into self-preservation mode. Its own way of protecting the body and mind from more harm, it’s the only way to keep on surviving and its harrowing. The book was beautiful and ugly at the same time, I felt like I was looking down onto the situation. The authors use of language really added a realism element that was natural, not forced. It hurt to see just how much pain Gloria was in, it felt like a fist to the heart.
Gloria and Charles their relationship was toxic. Gloria was walking on literal eggshells trying to keep that man happy. Trying to diffuse the impending explosion daily. Trying to protect her daughters from psychological harm. At the end of the day though, nothing she could do would change him. They were different people, with different idealisations of what love was and they were on different paths. Gloria had my full support, but Charles was a character I loathed from the start. He had no sympathy from me and I was hoping he was going to meet a deserving end.
The storyline was one that did nothing to keep my eyes dry. With every turn of the page, my eyes threatened to leak, my heart hammered harder and I gripped my kindle with all my strength. Why would you treat another human being in such a way? Your significant other isn’t there just for your amusement. Treat others the way you wish to be treated. There is nothing more precious than love, don’t abuse it. Just how much had Gloria endured to the extent that she had lost good and bad memories? What on earth happened? The journey we travelled on to find out was bumpy, but well worth the ride.
Her journey of self-discovery is full of suspicion, a redo of the bad times and discovering what true love means warmed my heart. Too many times I wanted to punch Charles myself, I was enraged and frustrated. He needed a good takedown and I was more than happy to offer myself for the service.
The author tackled the theme of domestic abuse very tactfully and in a realistic fashion. People often ask, “why don’t you just leave them?” Well this book highlights just why, whether it be coupled with financial abuse, using children as a pawn or just pure fear. This is why people get stuck. The author has brought necessary awareness to the problem.