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Envy Rots the Bones: I admit it, I prejudge books tactilely

Every once in a while you find a novel and you really have no idea what you are getting into. It might have a strange physical quality or texture which throws you off; it looks like it went through a war zone but you still carried it home. The book blurb didn't mentally sell you, but on some DNA level it did and you kept it.

‘Envy Rots the Bones’ was one of those books for me. When I received it, I hated the texture of the book. It felt too new, clean, crisp, and absolutely too clinical. The sharp edges of the cut paper felt too smooth to go with a biblical title reference and the blurb on the rear cover. It sounded like a good book but felt.. wrong.

By the last page, every perception I had was flipped. The initial feel of the book changed from ‘Too clinical’ and sharp-edged, becoming ‘surgically clean and razor sharp’.

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  • Envy Rots the Bones (Nina Blakeman)
  • 422 pages
  • Outskirts Press
  • ISBN-10: 1478788410
  • ISBN-13: 978-1478788416

Faye Davis is working through emotional and physical trauma. Her husband Todd was married when they met. Love, lust, and professional respect brought them together. Todd’s ex-wife Annette almost broke them apart. Capturing Faye on a remote farm, Annette tortured and slowly damaged her mind and body.

Several years after the violent death of Annette, Faye is left to pick up the leftover gristle and put her life back together.

Faye’s twin step-daughters, Ella and Emma, are part of the collateral damage. They are impacted by the separation of their family, the psychosis of their mother, and the social stigmas of a teen with a family history. Emma’s pain goes deeper. Sharing some of the psychosis, she believes her mother was not evil. Todd and Faye need to be punished and destroyed.

This was a great Novel, best I have ever read? No. That is a reserved status that hasn’t been adjusted in 20 years (Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451). But I did really enjoy it and at no point consider shelving it unfinished. I have talked about it with friends and even offered my copy for reading. There were just the twists at just the right moments. This felt like it had been storyboarded and outlined to bring it to a succinct unwavering path.

While the book was not gory, there was a graphic scene which stood out. It has a toddler in a public park sandbox unearthing the head of a corpse. The nanny really should have been paying more attention. Check my YouTube channel if you would like to catch that paragraph in a preview. It is a short video, dedicated to the amazingness of one disturbing mental image.

This book was provided for review purposes by the author or publisher. The FTC has not explicitly stated that failing to disclose the source of this book will land me in a pit covered in Lye, I have heard stories of missing fingernails and torture rooms. Readers can trust my opinion is unswayed. I am allergic to Lye and do not want to risk being placed in the pit.


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