Blood Relatives (Indie Gypsy), Patti L. Adams’ disquieting tour de force debuts a novelist whose pen is not to be denied. The powerhouse turn brilliantly depicts a heartrending saga of hideous child abuse with sure acumen — fluid, image rich, consistently compelling in its immediacy.
Literally from birth, Anna innocently suffers for failing to be the apple of
her mother’s eye. She is berated and brutalized by Flo, a chronic narcissist, innate sadist, and wretched excuse for a nurturing parent. Year after year the child daily endures soul-searing hell until fate delivers her by way of literally murderous retribution.
Adams draws distinct characters whose lifelike behavior drives a strong, unforgettable story. There is the inclination to doubt anyone could actually be so evil as Flo. But, reminiscent of Chester Himes’ autobiographical novel The Third Generation, harking to Christina Crawford’s Mommie Dearest, Adams unflinchingly testifies to an ugly truth: mothers sometimes are monsters. Flawlessly rendered, by turns heartbreaking and heroic and beautifully written, Blood Relatives qualifies as a contemporary classic.
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