Monday, July 15, 2013

In The Stillness by Andrea Randall Review

6 beautiful heart-wrenching stars

From GoodReads:

"Natalie is a wife.

Natalie is a mother.
Natalie is a cutter.

Clawing at walls built by resentment, regret, and guilt, Natalie cuts as an escape from a life she never planned. 

Staying present is only possible when you let go of the past. But, what if the past won't let go?"

My Thoughts:

"'I exist. Right?' The blood rolling haphazardly down my left forearm says I do."

In The Stillness is hands down, THE best book I have read in at least the past year, and definitely one of my top 3 overall.

It is a book about overcoming pasts, grieving over parts of your life you lost, opening yourself up to a different future than you wanted, and moving on in any possible way that your mind and body will let you. It is a story about love lost, internal and literal wars, and gaining the strength to walk away from things you never wanted to. It touches on so many intimate topics, such as cutting, divorce, motherhood, and PTSD. I cannot speak from personal experience on the topic of cutting, but I can tell you that every single emotion that Natalie feels when it came to 9/11 and the military aspect of this book is dead on. It is impossible to read In The Stillness, and not emotionally connect with Natalie through every part of her life. The understanding will come from anyone, wives, mothers, military families, tortured souls, the heartbroken, and anyone who has turned to self-harm for a release. At any given point in Natalie's heart-wrenching life, there is a reader out there, who is saying "I've been there, and my god, it sucked, it sucked so bad.. and I feel for you right now."

Natalie has an extremely heartbreaking past, and is currently living a life that she can no longer handle. Previously, during the events of her treacherous life, she had turned to cutting. It has been years since she has even entertained the thought of cutting again, until everything seems like it has fallen out from under her. She is more than overwhelmed as a mother to her twins, resenting a husband she never saw herself actually marrying, and carrying so much guilt that she turns to her old ways of cutting again. She needs an escape, and this is the only way she knows how.

"Just a little. Just one more time."

When she finds her past is closer to her than she ever imagined, she realizes it's time to try to face it, try to overcome it. She never knew how hard of a battle she was really fighting, until it is right in front of her face, 10 years later.

"'I'm fine, just leave me alone,' I barely make out as I start sobbing with my forehead on my knees. It's the single biggest lie I've ever told."

The blurb to this book barely gave anything away. I'm not going to give more than I already have about the book itself. No matter how I explain this book, it will not, and cannot, do justice to the amazing story I have just read.

What I will tell you, is that I had to put In The Stillness down, at least 8 times, because I could not see through the tears in my eyes. My heart broke over and over and over again throughout the first half of this book, and started to mend itself during the second half. This is not a book you want to crawl into and live. No. This is a book where you want to climb into the pages, and hug EACH and EVERY one of the characters involved and tell them that everything is going to be okay, that it's not their fault, that these things happen, and now it is time to work on loving themselves again.

Read it, go out and buy it right now, you will not be sorry. It will be the most heartbreaking, and beautiful roller coaster ride you have ever taken.

Quote that gave me chills:

"Heroes don't always wear capes, badges, or uniforms. Sometimes, they support those who do."



  1. What a great review!!!! I cannot wait to read this book!!! :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you so much! And thank you for the much needed overseas hugs while reading!