I have reviewed Boundaries by Jessica Aiken-Hall for Reader’s Favorite.
Valerie’s reluctance to bond with people suited perfectly for her job as a Deceased Patient Coordinator in Lawrenceville Regional Hospital’s social services department. So, when her boss told her to start a weekly trauma support group, she despised the idea. Still struggling with her past, she did not feel qualified to run such a group. Yet, this trauma group brought an elevated sense of justice inside of her, so much so that the professional boundaries blurred after each meeting. Apart from this, the death of a 19-year-old girl, Carmen, stirred something inside of Valerie. Even though the police marked her death as a suicide and closed the case, Carmen’s mother, Jane, was confident that it was a murder. For some reason, Valerie could not shake the feeling that Jane was right. Boundaries by Jessica Aiken-Hall brings forth the after-effects of the hideous crimes on the psyche of the survivors.
Something in me told me that Carmen hadn’t killed herself. I knew this was another situation where the local police department couldn’t put the needed hours into the case, so the easiest route was taken. Overworked and underpaid police let Carmen’s case be closed, without any concern as to what really happened to her.An excerpt from Boundaries by Jessica Aiken-Hall
As a survivor of child abuse and domestic violence, Jessica Aiken-Hall bestows the required sensitivity in describing such issues. The scars of these heinous crimes remain with the survivors for years. The ladies in the support group exhibit those signs in different ways. While Maggie resorts to fear and grief, Sonya uses her anger as a coping mechanism. As for Val, even after twenty years, she could not regain her trust in people. The pain of the characters seeps through the narration. However, the romantic endeavor of Tim and Val reaffirms the belief that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thus, the plot brings hope and optimism.
The sight of Carmen in her bed, in her mother’s arms, made me miss my own mom. We hadn’t spoken in years. I don’t even know where she lives or if she is still alive. Some things can never be forgiven, but I still longed to have a mother at times.An excerpt from Boundaries by Jessica Aiken-Hall
In addition to portraying intricate human emotions, Boundaries by Jessica Aiken-Hall is a web of twists. The audience pities the woman who suffered appalling injustice and remained silent for years. And then, suddenly, that woman changed course and left the readers wondering about the transformation. One aspect, however, gnawed at me. The change in Val’s viewpoint of Tim from an ‘obnoxious’ person to a love-interest appeared a tad unbelievable. Other than this minor conflict, everything else about Boundaries entertained me. Infused with murder-mystery, and romance, Boundaries by Jessica Aiken-Hall would appeal to the readers who enjoy nail-biting twists.
This time, they wanted to start a weekly trauma support group. “No.” There was no way I was getting roped into this. I cleared my throat. “This is not something in my scope of practice. I’m not comfortable with any of this.” I could feel the heat radiate off my face as I attempted to hand the papers back to her.An excerpt from Boundaries by Jessica Aiken-Hall
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