Feiwel & Friends, 9781250132819, 304pp.
Publication Date: March 26, 2019
In a book that is both urgent and timely, Melissa Ostrom explores the intricacies of shame and victim-blaming that accompany the aftermath of assault.
After surviving an assault at an off-campus party, nineteen-year-old Maggie is escaping her college town, and, because her reporting the crime has led to the expulsion of some popular athletes, many people—in particular, the outraged Tigers fans—are happy to see her go.
Maggie moves in with her Aunt Wren, a sculptor who lives in an isolated cabin bordered by nothing but woods and water. Maggie wants to forget, heal, and hide, but her aunt’s place harbors secrets and situations that complicate the plan. Worse, the trauma Maggie hoped to leave behind has followed her, haunting her in ways she can’t control, including flashbacks, insomnia and a sense of panic. Her troubles intensify when she begins to receive messages from another student who has survived a rape on her old campus. Just when Maggie musters the courage to answer her emails, the young woman goes silent.
About the Author
Praise For Unleaving…
"Ostrom's sensitive treatment of a timely subject is a welcome addition to novels about rape and its
aftermath. Nineteen-year-old Maggie leaves her college after she was gang-raped at a party, reported the crime, and was ostracized for naming popular athletes as her attackers. Her caring mother takes Maggie to the isolated country home of her sculptor aunt (her mother's somewhat estranged twin) to recover. Maggie deals with classic PTSD symptoms: flashbacks, panic and anxiety attacks, and insomnia. Then she receives an email from Jane, a student at her college, who has also survived a rape. ...[T]he novel is full of people we recognize and care about. If the ending feels almost too strong and hopeful to be real, it will be a true comfort to those who have had similar experiences and need to see a way past their current pain."--Booklist magazine