Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill is not an easy read for anyone. It is about a young lady who only longed for a happily-ever-after life. The problem is, she ended up with a life that nightmares are made of. I am thinking that Laura did not write this book for those caught up in the cycle of abuse, but for those who long to understand how someone can stay in that situation.
In writing this book Laura draws us into the story of Ava just as the abuse is starting to make Ava really wonder what is going on with Mitchell and why is he acting this way. She knows he is under a lot of stress at work, but even when she tries to make everything perfect at home, he seems unhappy with her and the boys. But when he announces one morning that he is leaving her and filing for divorce, Ava is caught very flat footed. She is in a situation that she never ever dreamed of being in and she is unsure where to start.
Like I said, this is not an easy book to read as Mitchell is one of those characters that I just wanted to rant against. He undermines Ava, he paints her in a bad light to anyone and everyone, even those who know her. He is basically a sociopath who sets out to not only divorce Ava, but destroy her. But I also found myself frustrated and upset at Ava because I really wanted her to find a backbone and to stand up for herself and her boys. There are times she makes questionable decisions and I really wanted to shake her. As I learned her story I began to understand that she made those decisions based on the belief that her husband was not out to get her and then it made a bit more sense.
The hardest part of the story was told through Jack’s voice. He is Mitchell’s son from his first marriage now adopted by Ava. Because of his age and the perspective that Jack gives, it just broke my heart every time I read the chapters in his first person. I don’t want to go into great details as I don’t want to give anything away, but the voice of a young child telling about what is happening, things he doesn’t understand, is heart wrenching.
I recommend this book because it is so well written from the first person perspective of all the main characters. You may want to wring everyone’s neck, but you will walk away with a better understand of what it is like to be in such a situation.
P.S. I was given a free copy of the book from Harper Christian Publishers for my honest review.