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Ladies of the Canyon, by Douglas Wood
Hey guys, how has your week been so far?
Have you stumbled across any unique bookish gems of your own lately? If so, I’d love to hear about them.
Today, I’m excited to be reviewing Ladies of the Canyon, a psychological thriller, by author Douglas Wood.
Devon, lead actress on a sitcom, has struggled with drug abuse for years. Upon meeting a retired actress who attends some of her twelve steps meetings, Devon feels like she has a chance to stay sober and get her life together. However, not all is as it seems: despite her best efforts at getting better, sabotage soon rears its head.
Devon made for a complicated character. As an addict trying to get clean, she often found herself facing numerous types of temptations, and struggling to resist them. However, deep within her was a sense of ruthless determination to see things through, despite any mistakes she had made in the past. Throughout the story, this sense of inner determination was repeatedly tested and helped me come to admire Devon as a resilient individual overall.
Nikki, a plain-talking, brutally honest retired actress was interesting to observe. I wasn’t sure whether I could trust her character as she appeared to contradict herself at times. She was a challenging woman, both charismatic and uniquely cruel.
I won’t say anymore though, because of potential spoilers.
I really enjoyed the author’s style of writing. He used a first person, present tense narration style, which worked very well for the type of character journey he presented me with. Through it, I got a good sense of Devon’s past life and was better able to relate to her current emotional turmoil.
The story is told mainly from Devon’s perspective, with some small intercepting passages from Nikki’s point of view, to provide additional context to both character’s upbringings and sense of self. Because the author chose this way to explore the characters, I was able to better understand each person’s motives during the story.
Two particular quotes stood out in this story.
1) ‘I remind myself that everything we judge in others is something within ourselves we don’t want to face.’
2) ‘Don’t judge me by my past. I don’t live there anymore.’
Reflecting upon these two quotes led me to examine my past self and actions. Consequently, I thought more deeply upon how I have treated others in life and how they have treated me. This experience led me to the conclusion that I don’t want to judge others as much, because I don’t enjoy being judged myself.
Overall, Ladies of the Canyon was one of my favourite reads of the year. It was an emotionally raw journey through addiction, friendship, abuse, and uncertainty.
My Rating: 5 stars.
Recommended: to people looking for a realistic, gritty, and dramatic read. A book that explores the topic of child fame, drug addiction, and self-destruction.
As always, thank you for joining me for today’s review.
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Wishing you a wonderful week,