The Third Return by Monica M Medina

This is a story of a girl growing up in Chicago. It’s about teen angst, siblings, music, family, school and relationships. Monica, however, grew up in a family who suffered the consequences of the domestic abuse by Ian, her step-father. He smothered and controlled everyone and was a violent and unforgiving man. Even though she loved him, she hated him at the same time. Her mother suffered regular beatings which the children were witness to but powerless to stop.

This is a raw and at times, difficult read. It shows that Monica tries to have a normal childhood but her dysfunctional family make it difficult for her to grow conventionally. The pressure of developing normally in a household constantly on edge, never knowing if they will receive a smile or a slap from a controlling bully. It is a story told by a daughter witnessing the brutality of domestic violence against her mother. A mother who was so controlled by her husband, each time she left him and took the family to safety, she went back to him. As she grows older she pleads with her mother to leave him but she always goes back. The final time resulting in tragedy.

Thanks to NetGalley and Indigo River Publishing for allowing me to read and review the early copy.

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