It’s been years since the last time I read a book and cannot fall asleep long after putting it down. This book is not about romance, passion, or suspense. This book is about the power of creation—the ones we create for others, and the ones we create for ourselves.
You read the porno description and think holy s**t this is too explicit, and this plot is just about how a disturbing female writer gets so obsessed with her husband’s body and attention that she becomes jealous of her own daughters, for they steal the man’s time, attention, and love away from her. She hates it so much that she wants to kill them, and she does, at some point, in her confessional autobiography. Her obsession with the man urges her to kill her daughter, and when she realizes this only pushes him farther away rather than winning him back, she decides to kill herself. You think this is such a dark cliché that doesn’t worth your time; you think this graphic depiction of the bedroom actions is fun to read but nothing more than smooth erotica.
Then you see how this new girl gets into the couple’s mansion, after the wife’s mind zooming out because of the suicidal car accident, reading her manuscript of those crazy nights shared between her and her husband. The wife is a great writer, and the girl’s here to gather resources and information so that she could continue to work on her unfinished series, but only find out the disturbing writer who’s supposed to be in a coma could be faking it, and herself falling for the almost perfect and attractive husband all over. She sleeps in their bed, studying their sex life in the manuscript. Learning that the man is addictive and toxic to the wife while she is pure evil; the girl decides to reveal the truth. Now that the man also knows what kind of a person his wife is; they tear up the wife’s mask, forcing her to face them. Of course as manipulative as she is, the wife tries to explain. They don’t give her a chance before killing her, using the way she confessed to killing her own daughter in the autobiography, faking an accident.
However, months later, the girl found a letter in the wife’s old room. The wife tries to explain herself and makes a wish that her husband could read it. She says that the autobiography is a writing exercise for her novels, and this suggestion comes from her editor. All those passion and desire, darkness and violence, excessive jealousy and out-of-control emotions, fakes, and lies, are merely creations. She knows that her husband found the manuscript by accident and believed that she killed their daughter. That’s why he fakes a car accident as if the wife committed suicide, just as she wrote in her draft. She cannot believe the man trusts her words more than he trusts their decades of life together. When she’s awake, she tried to explain, but only finds out her own husband’s bringing someone else home, and the two of them seem to fall for each other; for some reason, the girl gets her hands on the manuscript too and believes that she’s pure evil. Now it’s two to one. In the darker world she creates for her own to escape the dark world where they lose their children, she drowns and suffocates. In that world she creates, her husband finds a way to let out of his own anger and grief, and someone to blame.
The problem is, is the letter the truth, or is the autobiography the truth?
This book is all about how blind and subjective we all can become, as human beings. When we think we are flawless, we are prob not that innocent; and when we acknowledge the darkness we all have, that darkness devours us, not only us but also the people around us. That’s how weak we are when facing creation. We see fictional narratives and distorted claims as “evidence”, and think we know it all too well. But this is not our fault; this is not because we are too arrogant in trusting our own minds and hearts.
This is the power of writing. It rewinds your mind and reshapes your heart. This is the only thing that changes us at the present. This is the way to turn a person into someone else, a devil, a maniac, a superhero, a god…We’d believe it. We’d buy the created new alternate reality because it IS a reality.
That’s when you find out that you were wrong. All those smooth and shallow plots, all those 18+ restrictions applied erotica and all those point-of-view setups suddenly make more sense than it’s supposed to do. You think you are toyed with by the author now, and you think she’s doing the same to herself because there’s no way she knows for sure which alternative is the truth. Colleen Hoover is the only person I know that could turn a 3-star story into a 5-star one using one single chapter, and it only means that the writing itself is a 5-star piece. You know it’s just you never notice the delicate design and every detail she shows and hides on purpose to misguide you, like what all literature does to you, as all realities do to you.
Your underestimation is good when you tag this story “a romance” or “a thriller” because you will know that your underestimation is exactly what the author wants from you. Now you see how wrong you could be throughout your lifetime, to everyone around you, and to every alternate reality you discovered, lived, or even created.
What else do you expect from a piece of writing that shows you exactly how powerful a piece of writing can be?
This s**t is brilliant!