Book Review: Room Empty (Sarah Mussi)
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Release Date: April 6th 2017
Fletcher and Dani are fighting their own inner demons just to stay alive. Dani is ravaged by anorexia and hasn’t eaten for days. Fletcher is fighting to stay off the streets and to stay off drugs. Will their attraction to each other save or destroy them?
Both patients at the Daisy Bank Rehab Centre, Fletcher wants to help Dani find out about the Room Empty at the heart of her pain: What happened to Dani in that room when she was four? Whose is the dead body that lies across the door? Why won’t her mind let her remember?
As Dani and Fletcher begin to learn how to love, Sarah Mussi weaves an intoxicating story of pain, fear and redemption.
As you can see by the summary, this book is set in a rehabilitation clinic and may not be suitable for those who find themes of eating disorders, addiction, abuse and drug use disturbing or triggering.
This book was a bit of an odd one for me. I didn’t really get on with the narrative style: it might have been done to show Dani’s confused thought processes but I just found it jumped around quite randomly and it made it difficult to read sometimes.
There’s a mystery to the story as Dani tries to figure out why she was found in a locked room with a dead body when she was younger. This was interesting but didn’t always seem the focus point of the story: recovery and her relationship with Fletcher were the main bulk of it.
The relationship part was a tricky one. There’s so many books out there that have a ‘love cures all’ story line, which I hate. This didn’t go down that road but I still thought it could be problematic. It’s made clear that Fletcher is trying to ‘save’ Dani and that’s part of his own addictions and problems. I just didn’t like the way he would make deals with her to try and force her to eat. I also found Dani’s friend Kerstin really weird. She didn’t talk like a real person to me: I just couldn’t see her as anything other than a character.
I liked the characterisation of anorexia as an alien. This was something I’d not seen before and helped you to understand what Dani went through a bit better. It did take a little getting used to at first as I didn’t really understand what she was talking about when an alien popped up out of nowhere, but I soon got used to it.
This was an interesting read on a very dark topic – it’s not one to read if you’re after something light and pleasant. I don’t think it’s really for me but if you like the sound of it then give it a try!