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Voices Carry

Yes, another song about domestic violence and another post about fiction that deals with this sad but real problem. A few months back I mentioned Rajdeep Paulus’s Swimming Through Clouds in my post Luka. If you haven’t snapped up this book, you are missing a fantastic story. And Rajdeep’s sequel Seeing Through Stones is even better. I almost deducted a star from my 5-star review of Swimming Through Clouds because there were dangling threads. But my reader-sense tingled and I knew there had to be a sequel. Glad I have that super-power, because both Swimming and Seeing are 5-star reads.

Without giving away anything for those who haven’t read Swimming Through Clouds, Seeing Through Stones picks up where the story left off. Well, not exactly. Chapter 1 adds a new POV character, Talia’s brother, Jesse. So minimal background. Talia and Jesse are the children of Gerald Vanderbilt. For those of my generation who saw Mommy Dearest and cringe at “no more wire coat hangers”, this generation will say “no more hot tea”.  Talia and Jesse’s father make Joan Crawford look like supermom.

In Swimming, Talia gains an ally through a sticky note friendship with classmate Lagan. Life looks promising for Talia but what about her brother Jesse? In Seeing Through Stones, Rajdeep binds those loose ends with the skill of a master seamstress. While I’m sad this is only a two-book story, the ending is so satisfying that any more would be too many beads on the perfect dress.

I’ll ask it again, do you prefer escapist stories or those that cover gritty topics or a little of both?

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