When 15 year old Skye's mother finally does something so shocking that it can't be hushed up, the police turn her over to the social workers - and that's when the nightmare begins.
No one will let her talk to her father; the woman who is supposed to be helping her dumps her in a terrifying 'home' that's more like a jail. But she still has one friend to turn to: the sympathetic girl she's met in an internet chat room, the one who seems to have a home life as unhappy as Skye's. And Jade offers her a safe place to stay....
Alone in Manchester, nearly penniless, Skye is willing to trust Jade. Even when it isn't Jade who turns up at the rendezvous, but a grown-up man who says he's Jade's brother....
Mandasue Heller was born in Cheshire and moved to Manchester in 1982. She spent ten years living in the notorious Hulme Crescents which have since become the background to her novels. Not only is she a talented writer, but she has also sung in cabaret and rock groups, seventies soul cover bands and blues jam bands.
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Riveting, Dark Suspense
This book is an addictive page-turner that I could not put down, compelled to see what happened minute by minute to Skye Benson and her dad, Jeff Benson, the two main narrators of this great story. The suspense built like crazy until the final, shocking conclusion, and it thrilled at every turn.
The story is told in the points of view of Skye, just turned fifteen and on the run following events at home beyond her control, and she realizes she has only herself to rely on if she is to escape her certain fate in a violent children's home. Jeff Benson is her father, a victim of his wife's mental illness and a system seemingly designed to keep him down, while the police haunt his every movement as he tries to survive both physically and mentally following his daughters disappearance. I found both characters to be sympathetic and both held my interest intensely.
The performance was pitch-perfect for each character and her narration really brought the plights of the characters to life. Bravo!
I was not only on the edge of my seat but found myself having real feelings for these characters. They inspired sympathy, hope, and resilience in the face of extreme hardships that most people will never have to endure. The end was especially touching.
I was surprised how much I loved "Afraid" and immediately am seeking out other audiobooks by Mandasue Heller. This is a great story that is carried by great writing and awesome character development along with a suspenseful and thought-provoking plot. I highly recommend readers to pick up this audiobook and experience it for themselves!