The follow-up to A Dress the Color of the Sky is finally here. And yes, it was worth the wait.
Prudence Aldrich is a sex addict fresh out of 5 weeks of rehab. She learned a lot at Serenity Hills. She faced quite a few demons and struggled to maintain her control over that addiction.
Five weeks isn’t going to magically cure her. She knows this in her head. But a lifetime of building walls, and being out of control, acting impulsively, and expecting to be hurt will not be easy to overcome.
When Prudence comes home to a new house that Lily has obtained for her and Christian, Prue is annoyed and grateful. Lily plays a big part in this book and her story goes a long way in explaining her own need for control and the firm friendship she has with Prue.
While Prudence settles in with Christian and goes back to work at the design firm, every day is a test. Every day she must decide to make good decisions, to go to meetings, and to stay away from men. That one is hard since a lot of how she sees herself is caught up in sex.
You don’t just wake up one day and become an addict. Of anything. That behavior comes much earlier in life. Whatever trauma you go through as a child, you carry with you forever. You find tools that help you cope and they are not usually the healthy kind. Prudence falls and lets herself down a lot. But she gets back up and keeps trying. When you grow up feeling less than, you grow up thinking everyone has their life together except you.
Everything is more complicated when Alistair shows up. Yes, he is a hottie with a British accent that makes Prue drop her pants around him. But he has way more problems than either of them understand yet. And while her emotional growth really comes through with this guy, she is still vulnerable.
In the meantime, Mike is having his own troubles after the death of Gloria. He is questioning his path as well. Can all of these beautiful but flawed people ever be free of the past?
Abuse comes in many forms. But it’s all abuse. And as a child that shapes our view of ourselves and the men and women in our world. You can put on a facade of perfection but inside you still feel unworthy and broken. We judge ourselves so harshly.
This book is raw, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and it resonated with me so much so that I read it three times and made copious notes! I sobbed over this sentence. “All of this stemmed from feeling less than as a child”. That was an arrow to my heart.
I have been in therapy for years. All of my sisters have. And it did nothing. I shared the first book with my sister and it changed our lives. We don’t have to be perfect for someone to love us. We can mess up as many times as it takes and someone will still love us unconditionally. We can break the chain with our own families. We are enough. That and so much more touched me deeply.
I am hoping we hear more about Prudence and the imperfect and yet perfect cast of characters in her world.
Jennifer Irwin bleeds her story onto the pages for all of us to see and know that we are not alone and for that, I will be forever grateful.
Glass Spider Publishing October 30, 2021.