This Might Hurt

Berkley. Feb. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780593100080. $26. THRILLER
Free will and self-discipline come to a head in Wrobel’s (Darling Rose Gold) chilling novel. Sisters Natalie and Kit have become estranged following the death of their mother. Natalie is logical and driven; Kit is sensitive and directionless. Seeking an end to her unhappiness, Kit joins Wisewood, a commune and retreat on a private island off the coast of Maine that teaches fearlessness and self-actualization. The residents sever all ties with the outside world. It’s been six months since the sisters have spoken when Natalie receives a cryptic email from someone at Wisewood threatening to expose a secret she’s been keeping from Kit. Driven by guilt and fear, Natalie heads to Wisewood in hopes of bringing Kit back with her, but Wisewood and its charismatic leader known as Teacher have a few lessons to teach Natalie first.
VERDICT It’s hard not to fall under the spell of Wisewood, or Wrobel’s mesmerizing, edge-of-your-seat storytelling. A deep dive into psychological abuse and manipulation and their long-lasting emotional and mental tolls; will certainly leave a mark.
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