This review will contain some spoilers; beware. I have established I read a variety of items, from Horror to Drama to Romance to Hot and Spicy Romance. I am currently reading several textbooks and quite a few novels in different genres. My tastes are nondescript.

I will open with a bow to the author for writing a personal and powerful book that elicits a myriad of emotions that still have me reeling. I began watching this author on the social media platform “TikTok” and was interested as she was forthright and no-nonsense. TikTok is filled with people with books for sale, and like other social media platforms, many are more than willing to sell their books but are not engaged for the benefit of other authors. Allison was communicative, and it was refreshing to interact with someone more realistic. (There are many on all social media, but quite a few are self-focused and do not interact. I have many good friends on some social media platforms who are authors and I enjoy the interaction with them.)

Look Closer is a Personal Memoir that starts with a bang and keeps the reader captive for the book’s breadth. It is not for the squeamish as it starts and is filled with difficult situations that no one should face. Divorce is difficult on any family, but a divorce followed by a violent stepfather that destroyed her and her mother’s belongings, followed by a stepfather that starts positive but progresses to a nightmare of abuse, mental, physical, and sexual, is beyond comprehension for most.

Sharing her innermost thoughts, Allison weaves the story very well and focuses on her early feelings, some early diary entries, and many notes to her past self. The story is gut-wrenching, and you may find yourself on the edge of your seat, hoping for a reprise. A common theme she relates is her lack of fault in the ordeal and the powerful feelings that have shaped her as an individual. As she progresses, her inner strength is tested as her abusive stepfather threatens all she holds dear, and her mother is complicit. She truly has no safe haven and cannot turn her stepfather in for fear of losing the most important thing in her life, her family.

Held captive by those she should be able to trust, moved across the country, and constantly barraged by dark psychology, Allison is captivated by fear. To the outside world, her captor is charming and personable. Only she and her mother can see the truth.

I was also transfixed as her early self made a friend and later found out her friend was abused as she was. This was a heart tugging moment in the book.

Allison endures multiple abortions as the mother and stepfather are adept at creating a front that fools even the doctors in those situations. Ultimately, it is a pregnancy that leads to her salvation as it has progressed too far. With a small child, the family moved again, and Allison is confronted by an observant woman who asks the unaskable question, “Who is the Father?” This simple question leads Allison and her new child on a rollercoaster ride through foster care and trials until she finds her strength and herself.

I will state I had to stop several times to consider the situation and control the intense emotions that Look Closer Evokes. The book is available on Kindle here and will be released in paperback and other formats soon. A strong book from a strong woman who truly overcame the impossible and and is still healing but emerged as a force to be reckoned with.

***** stars for the powerful read

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