Author: Belinda Tors
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Genre: literature, fiction
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Book Length in Pages: 236
Reviewer: Dana Micheli
It is not easy to write a novel about domestic abuse; in fact, it may be one of the hardest topics to write about. Imagine juggling an author’s desire for a happy ending with the all too common tragedy that befalls women in this situation. The author wants the victim to be a victor, without seeming like a parody of a superhero. Belinda Tors skillfully achieves that balance in her novel, Letting Go.
The story shifts back and forth in time, from when Margery Arturo is desperate to leave her violent husband but cannot see a way out, to when she is counseling other abused women. Her first attempts to leave Tony ended in failure, after Margery realized that she would get no help from her parents or from the shelter system she once contributed to. She returns home, but this time, she has an escape plan that includes getting therapy and an education to increase her earning potential. However, when she puts that plan into action, she learns it is only the beginning of her struggle. Like so many other abusive husbands, Tony is not going to let her, or his children, go so easily.
Domestic violence is an epidemic, and one often discussed, but Letting Go tackles it in a very unique way. She tells the story of what happens after a woman leaves-- and the very real problems she faces, even beyond being stalked by the abuser. It explores not only the lack of funding for domestic shelters, but the divide between abused women of different socioeconomic groups and how any one of them can slip through the cracks.
Compelling, raw and brutally honest, the power of Letting Go lies in Tors’ ability to convey realism, strength, and best of all, hope.