Parts of LETTING GO by Belinda Tors, particularly the beginning, were difficult at times to follow with the switch back. I found myself reading about one person and then in an instant I was reading about another wondering why the story wasn’t matching up, and then had to re-read. The author did not transition well at these points.

Margery Arturo has two children and an abusive husband, Tony. Finally, summoning her courage and her meager resources, she leaves her husband of twenty years while he is away on a business trip out of state. With her teenage daughter, Lola, Margery manages to find an apartment and get a job at a women’s shelter as a counselor. Things are starting to look up. But Tony continues to follow her wherever she goes and turns up at their daughter’s school. He makes threats and refuses to give her child support and monies he owes her in a divorce settlement. Margery soon learns that leaving a violent husband has more risks than possibly getting beaten up or killed after she departs. Will Margery be able to make it on her own?

While the book is grammatically sound, I felt the story was shallow. In the beginning, I liked Margery and understood her plight. Then, a pattern of neglecting her children began to take develop, even though it was at times for the greater good. I felt as a social worker, she was too lackadaisical about some of her daughter’s behavior and lacked rules and discipline making skills.

While the book is grammatically sound…

I think the book would have benefited had the author chosen a few key points to delve into, rather than glazing over them. In the end, I was totally blown away when the mother, again a trained social worker, told her boyfriend she didn’t want his kids living with them, rather than opening her heart and trying to be a positive influence in their lives. I really disliked Margery at this point of the book. I lack understanding how a mother can see unwanted children and not feel the need to at least try and give them a stable home, especially the children of the man she claims to love. For me, there is no balance between mother and social worker.

The ending was abrupt with a complete turnaround of the ex-husband “letting go” and moving on without sufficient storyline to allow the reader to process the change. I feel the story lacked depth and hesitate to give this book anything higher than 2-3 stars.

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About the Reviewer

Donna McBroom-Theriot
Writer. Book Reviewer. Southern Lady. Connoisseur of Chocolate. My Life is like an episode of "I love Lucy!" I'm a writer, book reviewer, and a Southern Lady who loves her Sweet Tea. My blog, My Life. One Story at a Time. is where I've been writing short stories since 2009. As luck would have it, the very first short story I wrote was published within months of my writing it. This quote pretty much sums me up: "Deep in my heart, I know there’s no promise I’ll be free from trouble in this life. In fact, I’m usually either getting out of trouble, currently in trouble, or about to meet trouble around the next corner." Well, you know that old saying, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions" - that road is usually the one I'm on! And, as much I used to mock (we all grow up eventually) the Cajun dialect, 15 years ago, I found myself marrying the sweetest Cajun boy - complete with the requisite white trawl boots and a trawl boat. I love writing stories about the South and life with our two German Shepherds, and the four kids who meander in and out of our lives as they live their own journeys. Most days you'll find me out on the front porch swing, with the dogs at my feet, a tall glass of sweet iced tea close by, and a good book. It's what life in the South is all about. - See more at: