Review of ‘Give Me a Reason’ by Lyn Gardner
This was the first book I’ve read by this author, but certainly not the last one. Ms. Gardner has a captivating writing style, and after just a few pages I was hooked. It wasn’t always easy to read about what Toni had to go through, but at the same time, it shows what can be accomplished with love, endurance, and hope. And it is not a new book, it was published in 2013, I’m a little late but luckily Corporate Slave recommended it to me, thank you CS.
To help a friend in need, Toni was convicted for a crime she did not commit. Her time in prison was a living hell, and when she is released after a few years, she has forgotten how to live a normal life. She is absolutely terrified of everybody and everything. Will she ever be able to enjoy life again, and not be dependent on her best friend Krista, the only person she trusts? With her help, she manages to get a job as a teacher at Calloway House. Teaching is the only place where she feels alive and can interact normally with her students.
Laura is the new teaching administer at Calloway House, an institution that is much more than a hostel. The residents get an education in writing, reading, balancing a checkbook or even fix a car. Laura is happy with her new job, there is just one big challenge, called Toni. The reclusive woman is one of the most popular teachers at Calloway.
When Laura is forced to invade Toni’s sanctuary, her classroom, first she only sees the fearful woman, who is a brilliant teacher but is barely able to look anybody in the eyes. Slowly but steady she is allowed into Toni’s world and together they are strong enough to fight Toni’s battles.
There are really tough themes addressed in this lesbian dramatic novel and sometimes it was hard to read what Toni had to endure from the evil jail wardens. More than once I had tears in my eyes, sometimes from sympathy, sometimes from rage about the people who tortured her. But mostly this book is about hope, about the power of love, and about the ability to learn to trust again. The characters are extremely well developed and the secondary ones give more depth to the story. This book is intense and a roller coaster ride so be prepared for an emotional journey with Toni and Laura.
This novel is very long, about 600 pages, and maybe some parts could have been trimmed. The end suggests that there could be a sequel but I’m not sure if it is necessary, even though I love series. However, this is a small complain.
Make some time to join these two women on their road to happiness. Highly recommended. My rating 4.5 stars