Book Review: Walk Out the Door
Reviewed by Melissa Suggitt
A staggering peek behind the curtain of domestic violence and the strength of the human spirit
After surviving yet another beating, Molly must either flee her farmhouse in rural Oregon or pay the consequences of staying. She turns to Jill’s Place, a local women’s shelter, to help her and her children make a daring and pulse-racing escape in the middle of the night. She knows she’s made the right choice, but the uncertain future looms ahead of her; can she keep her family safe?
Matt has been running away from the pain of his failed marriage two years prior when he lands in Eugene, Oregon to fix up his grandfather’s property. Unsure of where life will take him and grasping to find somewhere he belongs, he presents as a mystery to those around him. He also holds onto a secret from his childhood that is slowly eating its way into his relationships and threatening to turn him into the very thing he resented as a child—his father.
Liz, orphaned as a teenager, runs a successful café with her brother in Eugene. When handsome new customer Matt walks in one day and sweeps her off her feet with his warmth and charm, she finds herself in a whirlwind romance. But there’s a darker side to Matt, a monster that slowly begins to rear its head. While Liz struggles to admit the signs, everyone around her starts to prepare for their worst fears about the situation becoming a reality.
Walk Out The Door weaves the stories of these characters and their connection to Jill’s Place seamlessly. It’s a powerful story that shines a light on domestic violence and abuse across generations. Some may be surprised at just how hard and dangerous it can be for a woman to leave.
For such a heavy topic, authors Anderton and Wolfe handle the subject matter with care and respect, accentuated by their firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to work in a women’s shelter. Their own experiences lend to the authenticity of the novel and the dialogue in particular; they create a narrative that inspires empathy and compassion in the reader.
The deeper you go into the novel, the more you are unable to stop from connecting with Liz. She navigates the struggle between her head and her heart, while discovering her voice through the support of a tribe of women, joined together by some of the darkest horrors of the human experience.
Having the point of view of Matt is fresh and unique, hearing from the mind of a man who is losing himself to his rage and his trauma. It was unexpected to find, considering the entire novel has a progressive feminist tone, and this added voice helps to bring out a layer of complexity that has you hoping the generational cycle of abuse can be broken.
This novel is sure to be enjoyed by lovers of women’s fiction and domestic dramas. It is gutting and hopeful in one breath. If you’re looking for a book that will work its way into your heart, then you’d be remiss not to pick this one up.
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Genre: Literary & General Fiction / Women’s Fiction
Print Length: 318 pages
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