INTO THE DARKEST CORNER reminded me of a slow burn, of holding my marshmallow an inch or two above the campfire, the flames licking and dancing but never quite touching that puffy goodness. But minus the gooey center and the warm, fuzzy feeling that a sugar rush gives you. Instead, this novel has a bitter aftertaste that leaves you wanting to down shots of Jose Cuervo to take away the burn. To be honest, it kind of creeped me out, like a whisper just behind my left ear with nary a hint of a mouth or an individual to explain the voice I heard.
I understood Cathy’s character, but I couldn’t really identify with her. Rather than seeking out help or even fully recognizing her emotional disorder, she chooses to bury it and attempt to move on with her life, but she seems to fail somewhat miserably in her effort. I wrote those two sentences about a quarter of the way through the novel and before I completely understood her character. Needless to say, I’m willing to admit how wrong I was. She’s a freaking trooper, and four years later she’s lucky to be walking the Earth, all trust issues, anxiety, and OCD aside.
She may have to check a lock six times but it’s what helps her push through, to make it from one moment to the next, even if those moments turn into hours, and she has to repeat the process three or four times to help her feel truly safe. Catherine Bailey may have been a twenty-four year old carefree, fun-loving individual, but Cathy Bailey is one tough, yet emotionally damaged woman, and she’s not going down without a fight.
I had a hard time understanding that woman. You know, the one that stays in a relationship even when it starts going horribly wrong, and the boyfriend/husband/lover suddenly turns into a wife beating, knife yielding maniac who carves up his beloved like she’s some kind of Christmas ham. After reading this novel, I understand the dynamics of that particular relationship a bit better. And it kind of freaks me out.