The Long Road Home - Danielle Steel.
Fortunately this is my first Danielle Steel book and I was forewarned by quite a few friends that they are a tear fest, I am unfortunately anyways a very emotional personal so it doesn't even matter as my eyes do well up at the drop of a hat. But this one was something else - WOW - it just made me think so much about the whole thing. And a question kept hanging on top of my head throughout - Can there really be parents like that? Who actually hate their children and go on to an extent of actually beating them up black and blue or may be kill them in reality as the child in question - Gabriella in this story is almost killed by her own mother and her father abandons her just like that. Unfortunately he couldn't take it anymore what all his wife was doing to the little girl and just walks out on both of them - gets married again to someone else and keeps no contact with them - how insensitive one can be. What happens next is the story of our little Angel Gabriella full of courage, hope and love. But the book made me think a lot and I shuddered with the thought of raising my hands ever on my own child - I still haven't forgiven myself for shaking her holding both of her arms long long back in utter frustration one day. Just can never forget those cute eyes, shocked with my behavior and the way tears rolled down her eyes - although she was too young to understand or even remember what happened but that hasn't helped me even today to get over the moment.
Unfortunately we were beaten black and blue just like Gabriella by not only our own parents, uncles or even teachers back then made me think - did they never loved us the way we love our kids now a days? Or we were one too many for them so they had choices as to who to love and who to ignore or hate may be. Like Gabriella again because her mother never wanted her in the first place and she was an unwanted child. Although her dad loved her like anything making her mother jealous of her. But as he abandons her and her mother dumps her in a convent right like the way we were dumped in a hostel to make our careers or to straighten us as we were spoilt brats, I know I am never going to get the answers to these questions as they will be never asked - unfortunately its too late and too futile to ask. But hasn't that fact crossed your mind ever exactly like the way it crosses Gabbie's mind all the time that she was "Unwanted", "No One cares about me", "Even God doesn't exist for people like me", "Why am I not dead yet?", "Would life be any better on the other side If I get killed?". It just sent me back in time and I realized unfortunately that's exactly what the reason was that I and my brother walked out of our homes never to go back but a parent may have a reason to do what they do, they may have a rationale justification to give to themselves but a kid will always be a kid - so we did forgive / forgot and what not and its all dusted and trashed below the carpet to be never opened again. I could actually get into the skin of little "Gabriella" in this story like the way she thinks that she is so bad that its all happening because of her as if she deserved it all in the first place rather she made it all happen to herself by being so bad. But as life is I am still looking forward not to her homecoming....... I don't even know what I expect (yet) as I am yet to finish the book but anyways I will do it - how bad it can get from the way it has come this far.
The book surprisingly invoked so many emotions in me as it progresses and Gabbie's struggles come to no end. Almost every-time she hits another hurdle or shock or pain she blames herself for it as she did it to herself or deserved it one way or other. My heart cried out so many times that I lost count - I was shocked, touched, hurt and what not to know it wasn't coming to an end at all. Also, I kept my hopes high one way or the other - she was bound to get what she deserved. How it all ends and whether she gets answers to all her questions as what happens to her parents after they abandon her and resume their own lives, is heartening, unbelievable and on your face truth so direct that it indeed hit me like a freight train. Wow - I thought this is going to be a romantic read but it turns to be a totally different story. Of-course need I mention that I am now in love with Danielle Steel and her books will now onward work like "Fillers" when I need to shake off the memory of heavy hard-hitting books :) - I am glad this one has helped me big time in getting over the gloomy "The Handmaid's Tale" Finally.
So if you haven't read this one or any of her works - now you precisely know what to expect but do read - I am sure they are good and this one may have a silver lining in the end not only for Gabriella but for us fools too.