Publisher: RedBird Books
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Quoted from Three Rules:
“I have learned three rules in my life: 1.) The most dangerous people in the world are not always strangers. 2.) The scariest things imaginable are not those that can kill you, but those you can live through. And probably the most prominent: 3.) The most horrible possibility is not what could happen to you, but what you could become – I became a killer.” ~Hope Wellman
Hope Wellman has a childhood full of horrific memories, a bone chilling recurring nightmare, and a persistent paranoid sense of being followed that she would rather keep repressed. Is evil reaching from beyond the grave to capture the tattered remnants of her soul once and for all, is it only a machination of her disturbed mind, or is there something happening more sinister than even she can imagine?
Attending the funeral of her abuser is the first step in putting her life back together as she is about to turn twenty-one. She struggles with the fact she never told anyone what happened to her, and that the grave they are mourning over is empty. She'd find it a lot easier to move on and believe in the future if he were in the box, ready to be covered with dirt. She fears the last thread of her sanity has snapped when she sees Lucas everywhere she turns, and can't escape a recurring nightmare. Is her tormentor alive, or is she imagining it? Is her dream triggered by past fears or is it a prediction of the future?
From the Author:
I am a survivor of abuse. It changed me. I closed myself off. It changed the way I saw myself. It changed the way I thought others saw me. It changed my outlook on the whole world. It changed the way I let people treat me, and had a snowball effect on my life. I married an abusive man. I divorced an abusive man. I finally broke the cycle.
Most of all, I wanted to express how important it is to encourage the discussion of abuse. In my book, as in my life, silence is the enemy.
Three Rules was written as fiction in order to make it an enjoyable read, but, much of the thought processes, feelings and reactions are real. However, there are no gory detailed scenes. It was written with sincere respect and sensitivity for the reader while trying to convey the honest and realistic feelings of an abuse survivor.
Wanda's Thoughts: Kudos to the author, Marie Drake, for a wonderfully written novel! She brought so much insight into this very dark and sensitive storyline, and did it in a sensitive and subtle way.
The story opens with a somber scene as the tearful family of Lucas Wellman is saying their last goodbyes around his gravesite. The ceremony seemed rather strange because there was an empty coffin – no body was ever recovered from the accident. But Hope is celebrating her freedom. She is sure Lucas Wellman will never spend a single moment in a peaceful state of eternity. Hope is ready for a future without Lucas. He left his mark on her, but he’ll never be able to hurt her again, and the story unfolds ---
I felt drawn into the world of Hope Wellman. Hope felt like she was a human being unworthy of love and she had no self-esteem. She was haunted by dark and traumatic memories of sexual abuse as a child, and she went through her life feeling depressed, and sometimes questioning her sanity. Hope wrapped herself into a thin shell of artificial happiness.
Lucas Wellman’s misdeeds were unreadable to everyone because of his likeable personality. He was a half brother to Luther Wellman.
Luther Wellman was Hope’s stepfather. He gave Hope his last name, a comfortable home, and a family because he was totally devoted to her mother, Carol.
Joey Bishop was a childhood friend of Hope, and they grew up together. Joey was very comfortable with Hope and eventually their relationship blossoms into more than friendship.
Three Rules has an intense and disturbing storyline with writing that is poignant and filled with emotion. I was pulled into the drama with several scenes that were quite touching and haunting, and for the most part, the characters were well developed. This book had a well-developed plot, compelling characters, and concluded with an exciting crescendo of suspense.
A few negative comments – There were a few grammatical errors, punctuation, etc., but it certainly didn’t deter me from reading on. Also, I never became connected to the characters of Michael and Helena, feeling that they didn’t add much interest to the storyline.
My rating is 4 stars and I’ll certainly be watching for any new books by this very talented author.I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author as a “first reads winner” from Goodreads.