Released: January 1996
Annie Trimble is the town idiot, having caught a fever as a child that has rendered her unable to talk, her parents keep her out of sight and allow her her solitary ramblings through the woods. However, that all ends when she is brutally raped in the forest she used to roam. Alex Montgomrey is beyond furious when he learns that his younger brother her raped poor slow Annie Trimble, determined to make up for his brother he marries Annie when they realize she is pregnant. But as he becomes closer to Annie, he suspects she is far more intelligent then anyone realizes, could it be that all these years she has not been mentally damaged but in fact deaf and extremely sheltered and unworldly?
I loved this book. It is no exaggeration to say that I stayed up until 4.30am and read this cover to cover; I literally couldn’t put it down. It was both heartbreaking but completely joyous, Annie and Alex went through a long painful journey together and it built such a solid bedrock for their romance that I was left in no doubt that they belonged together.
The characters of Annie and Alex were so well drawn by Catherine Anderson, Annie was so innocent and almost childlike in some ways and after being secluded from society and hidden like a dirty secret since the age of six she has no social skills. But she also seemed very worldly in other ways, she knew people hurt her and thought her stupid, she knew she had to hide her intelligence from others and although she was completely uneducated, she was clever and observant. Watching her slowly come to trust Alex, a man who didn’t ever hide how much he was falling in love with her was beautiful to read.
One of the things I really liked about this book was, that although from the blurb and the subject matter that was addressed it could have become a really dark and angst ridden book, but instead of dwelling and agonizing on the past it instead was a journey that Alex and Annie made toward the future. Having this meant the angsty moments that this book did have seemed more stark and packed a bigger emotional punch then if the book was constantly wallowing in its own pity party.
I highly recommend this book, it brought tears to my eyes, both in sadness and in happiness it was an emotional and moving love story between two lonely and misunderstood individuals and I can’t wait to read more of Catherine Anderson’s work.
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