Sunday, April 13, 2014

Retarded Girl Raised in Dog Pen: Authorities Say Girl Witness to Murder – Lauren Leigh

Genre: Adult, Realistic Fiction, Murder Mystery
Format:  Kindle edition
I received a copy of this book as a gift in exchange for my honest review.

 One thing that captured my eye from the beginning was the Headline type  title.  This read like something from the newspaper.  The book starts with a young couple in the hospital waiting for their new baby.  They decide to adopt the child even though they are told the child is born blind, will never walk or talk and may be mentally disabled.  They name her Baby because they believe she will always be that way.  From the very beginning it is evident that her mother, named Rivers,  loves Baby  no matter what.  She sees so much more potential than most people.  As we read we learn that Rivers husband is a highly respected deputy sheriff.  I believed he was apprehensive about adopting a child like this until I read about how highly he thought of his hunting dogs over Baby.  He reverses their role and brings them into the house and places this young child out in a dog pen to live.  I was appalled on so many levels. Every time Rivers brings baby into the house, Baby is taken back outside and put back in the pen. Her food is placed in a dog dish. When her mom tries to intervene she is beaten.

Now most of you who are reading this are thinking, why didn’t she just take the baby and leave if they were being abused? I know from watching a family member who was in an abusive relationship, that they are mentally beaten down until they fear if they do anything they and their children will be hurt or worse.  Mentally their mind goes into survival mode. Many women live this way for years until they finally get the courage to run. Many of them end up dead. In Rivers’ case, she ends up dead, baby ends up in an institution and the deputy ends up dead. Rivers doesn’t remember killing him.

This was a fantastic book.  The characters were so believable that was empathetic to their situation from the very beginning. I fell in love with Baby from the beginning.  I hated the Deputy almost from the beginning. It felt like he allowed the adoption just to give his wife something to do. I was so engrossed in the book that I read it during every spare minute I had, which wasn’t much, just to find out how things would work out.  If you want a book with that human touch to it, that will keep you on the edge of your seat reading, then this is the book for you.  I would definitely read more by this author.

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