Paper Doll Lina

Lake Union: Amazon. Sept. 2021. 366p. ISBN 9781542030151. pap. $14.95. F
DEBUT Lina seems to have it all; a lovely home, a successful husband, and two well-behaved teenagers. But things aren’t always as they seem: in this case, Lina’s husband David has been emotionally abusive for most of their marriage. Their kids have created an exercise app that is taking off and they love the publicity they’re getting, but David wants them to shut it down. While her children are being interviewed on TV, Lina meets Noah, a renowned action movie star, and they become friends. Lina realizes that David’s emotional abuse is now affecting her kids, and she decides to confront him and ask for a divorce; in response, he escalates the abuse. Lina tries to convince herself to hang on for a few more years until the kids are out of school, but her friends give her the courage to move forward in her quest for freedom and find love.
VERDICT This is a gripping story with characters that come to life on the page, but it is a difficult, possibly triggering read. The heartbreak of an abusive marriage should be fertile ground for book groups. There are similar story lines in Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty, and The Journey, by Danielle Steel.
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