May 20 #BookReview No Story to Tell by K.J. Steele
3 out of 5 Black Cats
No Story to Tell by K.J. Steele is a very depressing book. The main characters life starts out from the very beginning as a disappointment when she survives being born and her twin brother, who her father preferred, dies. The rest of Victoria's life is a string of horrible events; being raped as a teen, falling sick at her big dance audition and having to drop out, marrying a drunken, chauvinistic creep. The only bright spot to ever occur in Victoria's life is the day her car breaks down and she meets Elliot, an artistic, handsome man who recognizes the dancer in Victoria right away.
The novel starts to take a positive turn when Elliot convinces Victoria to open a dance studio, but quickly the terrible host of characters populating the small town pull Victoria back into her oppressive prison. The whole time you're reading this book your hoping something will happen to cause Victoria to finally confront her horrible husband, confront the horrible townspeople she's stuck with, and leave her husband and run off with Elliott. This doesn't happen and it makes the novel such a downer its hard to keep reading. The only reason I kept reading was I expected any minute Victoria would grow some balls and tell everyone in town where they could go.
None of the characters in this novel are likable except Elliot, not even the main character Victoria. They are all well written, developed, and have rich histories, but there is nothing redeeming about anyone in the town. If I lived in this place, I would have moved in the blink of an eye. Victoria is so broken and pathetic you want to scream at her. But that's the point of this novel, to live in the shoes of someone so beaten they let everyone walk all over them. You can't understand how a person can be so spineless until you've experienced their life and that's what this novel does for the reader.
The writing quality of this novel is excellent. It was free of typos, errors, and cliche descriptions and phrases. It's worth reading for that reason alone.
I recommend reading this novel, especially if you are a writer, for the excellent prose and character development, but be prepared to be depressed after reading it. The level of despicableness and despair is high and never eases.