Everybody's Got a StoryEverybody’s Got a Story by Heather Wardell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve gotten used to thinking of galley reads as less than perfect in some way, since they aren’t quite the finished product. ‘Everybody’s Got A Story’ was a pleasant surprise in that sense, because I read a pre-release galley and it was wonderful.

Stories of crime usually tend to end where the crime has been solved and the perpetrator (hopefully) punished. This book starts here, telling the story of one woman’s journey from victim to survivor. Alexa, a crime fiction editor, is raped, brutalized and scarred by her boyfriend Christophe. The story begins with Christophe being pronounced guilty, two years after the crime. Alexa, now free to get back to her normal life, finds herself unable to deal with everything that follows. So she moves to a new city, a new office and hopes to build a new life.

Even while dealing with the aftermath of a horrific crime, the story managed to never tip either into coyness or depravity. Almost all the other characters were well etched and believable, except perhaps Carly who seemed a little excessively stark.The real beauty of a book like this is in how the protagonist’s own dramatic story, never overshadowed the back stories of the other characters.

In addition to the great story-telling, Ms.Wardell also shows a superb understanding of the complex emotions that play out among everyone touched by an incident like this, the survivor but also his/her friends, family and colleagues. It’s too sensitive, too mature to fall under ChickLit. This is a wonderful human interest story.

I got this book off NetGalley.

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