Title: Crack in the World
Author: Maribeth Shanley
Publisher: Second Wind Publishing, LLC
Crack in the World
by Maribeth Shanley
Book review by Susan Emmerich
I picked up Maribeth Shanley’s novel, Crack in the World, with a bit of dread. As a former social worker, dealing with issues of sexual assault and domestic violence had been a daily task for me for a quarter century, and I was not looking forward to recalling decades of horror told by clients. I was pleasantly surprised that Ms. Shanley focused more on the emotional fall out from abuse, rather than the details. She accurately describes the family pain resulting from sexual abuse, without ever losing sight of the strength of her main character, Emily. The reader can’t help but rejoice in Emily’s triumph.
Yet, I found myself cheering equally hard for Emily’s mother, Sarah. It is through her eyes that we really come to know the depth of the damage, the layers of hurt. In her descriptive style, Ms. Shanley is able to draw the reader into understanding the thoughts, fears, frustrations, and sadness that often go unsaid in families impacted by the ultimate betrayal.
If you are looking for a feel good tale of love and support, you will find it woven among the complications of human pain and lost innocence. You will be reminded that wounds can be healed with kindness and honesty, even if they never quite disappear. Crack in the World is accurate, raw, and honest. Anyone impacted by abuse will benefit from reading Ms. Shanley’s insightful novel.
Susan Emmerich is not a writer by training and discovered her love of words late in life. In her first career as a licensed social worker, she worked in the areas of family violence and adoption. When her own daughter became school age she made the leap to school guidance to take full advantage of snow days!
While having coped with multiple losses in her life, Susan did not really take notice of their collective impact until her first menopausal mood swing. It was then that she found writing and biking to be the best medicine for a wounded soul. She currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio and is still discovering miles of new bike trails.
Susan is the author of A Girl on a Bike: Musings on Life, Loss, and Hot Flashes.