I knew a wee bit about this book, after all I bought it and read the blurb. I was worried initially that I would not be able to find any redeeming qualities of Olivia, that her being (as she put it) "the worst sort of bastard a woman could drop from her loins" would prevent me from connecting with her or feeling sympathy for her. That was absolutely not the case. Olivia is broken; she made some EVIL choices. If an angel and devil were sitting on Olivia's shoulders... the devil won, hands down, for about 7 years of her life. 7 LONG years. However, despite her horrid choices, she wasn't the sole manipulator.
This book is about choices. Everyday we are faced with choices, some bigger than life, some small and seemingly insignificant. Even the smallest of choices, not to accept an offer to share an umbrella to your car, can set off a sequence of events that can significantly alter your life. This book is overflowing with choices, primarily BAD choices. Over and over, I almost want to label some of these characters insane because they seem to define it (doing the same thing OVER and OVER and expecting a different outcome.) While Olivia was not a 'good' person, I understood her reasoning. I wouldn't necessarily do the same thing myself, but I 'got' why she did what she did. I could accept it, and she really beat herself up far more than she should. For all the hubbub about her ruining his life... lalala... I call bullshit. It takes TWO to tango, and trust me, the manipulation is NOT one sided.
Be prepared for twists. BIG ONES. They are so blindsiding, I felt like I got hit by a truck while playing twister. They hurt my heart. This entire book made my insides ache, made me swear like a sailor, made me sob, simultaneously declare my love and hate for this book, and plot the death of the fictional characters. It's intense. It's PERFECT for a buddy read... I really wish I had a friend to psychologically hold my hand while reading it.
GAH! If you can take twisted, broken, messed up romances- just read it already!