My Rating: 5+ of 5 stars
This has easily become one of the most astonishing books I’ve read all year! Powerful, candid, and exceedingly emotional is how I’d best describe the beauty that is In The Stillness.
“I exist. Right?” — This is the chilling opening line that perfectly sets the stage for the self-doubt and devastation that will flood the pages to follow. It poses both a question and a statement…and we eventually find the answer and affirmation to each.
Natalie Collins is a cutter. Yes—very blunt and forward to say, and that’s exactly how this stunning book is written. Natalie is a mother of two, trapped in a loveless marriage to a man she resents. She is overwhelmingly riddled with guilt and despair from a past that continues to haunt her. She cuts to release. She cuts for control. She cuts so her external pain will numb her insides. She knows it’s wrong and ultimately helps nothing, but she’s so broken and this often becomes her quick ‘fix’.
“The first cut most certainly is not the deepest. If you started with the deepest, where would you go from there?”
Before Natalie’s bleak marriage to Eric, Ryker Manning was her first love. When circumstances pulled Ryker away, Natalie was left to fight her way back to wholeness. Ryker sadly returned as an empty shell of the man he once was; and thus began the downward spiral of anguish, torment, and heartache.
“He’s just the first person I ever saw not exist while they were still walking the earth.”
Natalie’s story is unbelievably sad but so desperately beautiful. Her pain is gripping as it seeps from the pages, and will no doubt choke up the reader. It was difficult being introduced to the world of a cutter; hard to read and devastating to imagine…but then you sort of become numb to it, as Natalie had. Natalie’s behavior, at times, isnt easy to witness; it’s tangible and in-your-face and you can’t help getting swallowed up by it.
I don’t think a story has ever affected me so deeply or ignited such intense emotion as this one has—and I loved every minute of it. I would put the book down and continue with my day, but the story stayed with me; infused in my thoughts and embedded in my emotion. I couldn’t shake it. It honestly chilled me to the core.
The writing is flawless; incredibly raw and undeniably real. It flows gracefully through flashbacks until the past and present eventually collide. The candidness of the writing was the most astounding aspect by far. It followed suit with the raw power of the story.
As you have probably already concluded, this is not a lighthearted read. There were dark moments that took my breath away. But there were also moments of clarity; beautiful moments where tears of pain were transformed into those of happiness. The ultimate transformations were made sweeter by the all-consuming hardships. Most of all, this book allowed me to FEEL, to the point of exhaustion by its final page…And there is nothing greater I can ask for in a story than that!
“I’m going to keep loving you until you tell me to stop. But don’t, please. Don’t tell me to stop.”
▪ Genre/Category: Contemporary Romance
▪ Steam Caliber: Mild and emotional
▪ Romance: Complicated. Heartbreaking. Gradual connection.
▪ Characters: Broken beyond belief. A lovable, lost hero and a disturbed and sad heroine.
▪ Plot: Dark topics. Intense storyline focused on redemption.
▪ Writing: Beautiful, professional, and engaging.
▪ POV: First person: Heroine
▪ Cliffhanger: None/Standalone