The Night Visitors by Carol Goodman

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Harper Collins, via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Wow, I wasn’t expecting to like this as much as I did, it was absolutely brilliant.

Alice and Oren are on the run from an abusive husband and father when they end up with Mattie, a case worker, who has faced hardship in her life similar to that of Alice and Oren. Taking them in during a blizzard, which causes them to be snowed in together, while fleeing from an unknown assailant, the past is brought up and the three innocent people end up embroiled in a race for the truth in a decades long cover up.

The story is told from alternating points of view as Alice and Mattie. Alice is trying to get Oren away from his abusive rather and is under the assumption that Davis, the boys father, is dead, but is he? Once they are snowed in they start to learn a lot about each other and truths come to light that have been a big factor in shaping Mattie’s life thus far.

This story deals heavily with domestic and child abuse but also makes a point of showing that there is always someone out there willing to go above an beyond to help someone in need. We see this in Mattie’s character.

Alice is a hard and untrusting character, and the reader can understand why with all that she’s been through, even from an early age. The way she was written perfectly illustrated the fear, guilt, and shame that people who have been through this situations tend to exhibit. But it also shows and understanding point of view and shows that just because someone is lashing out due to bad things that have happened to them, you should still give them a chance and not just abandon them, even if you don’t entirely trust them.

Oren is the innocence in this story for sure. He is still afraid and unsure, but he still loves to smile, laugh and have fun playing games, especially if they include his favourite franchise, star wars. It gives him hope, and I feel that this bolsters the hope in the other characters. I mean, who wants to sit there and tell a smiling child who’s been through a traumatic experience, that it won’t get better. If Oren wasn’t in the story, I feel that this would have gone in a completely different direction.

Davis was a fantastic addition to the cast of characters, embodying that which I personally find absolutely disgusting and not deserving of the chance to continue to do what he gets sick pleasure out of. So to was the addition of the character Jason, who only has a small bit part, but also exhibits a lot of what is wrong with the world today. His blatant pleasure in making a store clerk feel uncomfortable purely because she is not white, is prevalent in today’s society and I love that it shows this. It was uncomfortable to read the small exchange but it was definitely necessary.

The addition of the small supernatural element was pure genius, and I feel that it really brought something to this story that sets it apart from so many others. It also was a great way for the story plot to progress and was done fantastically.

I actually found myself gasping at certain revelations, I did not see some of the big twists that were coming and that gave me butterflies. I love it when a story can surprise me, which lets be honest, these days it can be quite hard to find something that I can’t pick the twists out of early on. So this definitely helped boost my rating.

I love the themes this dealt with, as said above, a real look into abuse and how hard it can be in today’s society for the abusee to get away and stay safe. The revelation of decades old secrets that are now being forced into the life, and knowing that what happened in the past has shaped the characters into what they are today.

All in all, this was AMAZING, and I highly recommend it to everyone!!!

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