Wake-up is a book which deals with the hardships of relationship abuse, a good opening prologue drip feeds the reader with details of Ruth and why she is currently in a coma. The main body of the book splits the chapters between those of Ruth the adult, Ruth the child and Ruth’s partner Max. We read of the life-story of Ruth as she looks back whilst in a non-verbal communicative state of her coma. Her brain still functions and she uses the time to re-evaluate her life and to look at the lessons life has given her.
As a child, Ruth was witness to a violent, drunk abusive father, who beat her mother to unconsciousness on more than one occasion. As an adult Ruth has a coping mechanism which she applies to relationships with men, she is a serial “other woman” and is the one to leave her men as she searches for “the one”. All she ever wanted was to be loved and for people to stop leaving her.
Ready to leave Max and move in with Fletcher, Ruth is shocked to find she was just another affair and she is not welcome. She returns to Max’s flat just before he arrives home from a trip and gets to stay a while longer. However Ruth can no longer be at ease with Max, he has Jekyll & Hyde characteristics. He switches from Mr lovely to Mr jealous and possessive in an instant and he uses his fists when he’s angry. In fact it is more than that, he is totally selfish and self-centred surrounding Ruth with his friends, his music, and his gifts as forgiveness when he has beaten her up.
With Ruth in denial of the situation, complications spiral when she finds herself pregnant and Max goes into selfish possessive over-drive. Even with Ruth lying in hospital in a coma Max still thinks only of himself, but Ruth has used the time to find her inner strength and the drive she needs to break from the mould of abuse.
There is some very good writing in this book, the author builds the layers which make a compelling read and the storyline, although sad, touches on real life subjects which are all very believable. For me the book needs one more run through editing to erase the last few hiccups and then this book would be a 5* read.
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