Rainbow in the Dark
Author: Melanie Young
Abuse of any kind is wrong. Spousal abuse is something that many women endure yet some do not fight back. Often the abuser convinces the victim that they deserve what they are getting and they have done something to warrant their wrath. Rudy is a mean and vindictive man who enjoys tormenting his wife because he is jealous of her and her relationship with their young child. Brandi has been his punching back, whipping board for two long. But, when things get out of hand and she finally can’t take it any more what happens will not only free her but also rid the world of one abuser. Recounting for the reader her life before Rudy turned on her the author allows the reader to understand what Brandi’s life was like and you wonder why she just didn’t leave. When things get tough and he is beating her senseless thinking she cheated on him and she explains a simple delay getting home the end result would change her life forever.
Moving to Birch Bay and getting her hairdresser’s license was a positive change for her and her daughter. Leaving her past behind and hoping to build a new future was her goal. But, the man in her life was dangerous and killing him in self-defense was the only way for her to survive. But, how do you live with that and move forward?
Then Luke Alexander walks into her beauty shop and things just might change for them both as he recounts his life before moving to Birch Bay, his marriage and divorce. Talking while on the chair she learned a lot about him and he about her. A birthday party for her Aunt Fern would bring them together again. The party was great and Brandi learned why Luke was there but her armor was up and her defenses in place but you never know what might happen. As Luke explained to his friend George about his meeting with Brandi and her kind of polite but aloof attitude letting him know she was not interested in anything more than a casual hello. But, for some reason he had made quite an impression on her and he definitely liked her.
Brandi was blessed with a great daughter that was not only polite but also very well behaved. Some kids do not appreciate the little things and Madison was just happy to have a great mom. As the author allows readers to hear the gossip in the beauty parlor, get to know the customers and at the same time the people living in this small town. Agatha Lewis dislikes noisy children and is negative and Camille loves hip colors on her nails and of course some tell all about their husbands and ailments including Agatha’s trots which I won’t translate for you that you might want to find out for yourself because it is hysterical. Warning: don’t overdue the prune juice is my best advice.
As Brandi gets to know Luke she invites him to so Sandcastles with Madison and the fun begins but she still feels kind of standoffish. Trust is a hard thing for her to deal with and the past often comes full circle with the present. But, Luke is so different than Rudy that she finally opens up and tells him the truth about her past. But, will he understand or will he hold it against her for what happened?
Block party, Fourth of July and many town gatherings allow the reader to know that this is a closely knit place and everyone seems to pitch in helping neighbors and being almost like one big family. But, when Luke does not come to Church on a Sunday Brandi is disappointed until she learns why.
Relationships are fragile and divorce can leave you empty inside or feeling afraid to start over again. Luke just divorced and starting over as a real estate agent in Birch Bay and Brandi finally getting her life back will they be able to realize that they just might belong together? Author Melanie Young brings to light how important it is to raise children with the proper values, teaching them the importance of manners of course being health conscious and always eating healthy making sure that Madison does not eat the wrong foods and become overweight. Allowing Madison certain sugary treats but not all helps her to look forward to them and appreciate them when allowed.
But, kids will often tempt fate and when Madison and Holly are warned not to climb trees Madison tests the waters once two often and what happens will change things for Brandi and Luke. Coming to her rescue, taking her to the hospital and helping her deal with her daughter you realize that he is more than just a friend. But, Madison begins to take advantage of all the presents and attention and it is up to Brandi to reel her back in. But, can she? With her friend’s mom having new baby Brandi’s Aunt Fern, a major character in this book and definite great influence on Madison, brings her a doll hoping that will make her happy. But, one drawing that Madison creates will enlighten all of the adults to her thinking.
Brandi still feels the aftershock of what Rudy did to her and even though she feels safe with Luke she’s introduced to another man she reacts the same way she did when she met Luke. Her parents arriving for Madison’s birthday and Luke bringing in her amazing present really turns things around for everyone. Adding the importance of rules when riding a bike let’s hope Madison follows them.
With a new man in town wanting to date Brandi, Brandi feeling something about him is not quite right and Heather’s sister coming to stay with her the dynamics of the town and their lives would change. A misunderstanding goes a long way to put a strain on Brandi’s feelings for Luke. Sometimes appearances can be deceiving and what you think you see is not always the truth. Added in is Hilary, Heather’s sister who comes to town after a breakup and Heather can’t wait for her to leave. Why? You have to read that for yourself as sisters might have the same parents but they are not always the same.
The ending will make you smile and bring tears to your eyes as Luke and Brandi decide on their future. Just what they decide is up to you the reader to find out as some things work out while others do not. Pasts come full circle to the present and new beginnings will hopefully make things great as the Rainbow in the Dark just might turn into one with bright colors in the Light.
Author Melanie Young brings to light the issues of abuse, violent marriages, divorce, trust, betrayal and being a single parent in this well written book with real life characters that you will fall in love with and one little girl named Madison Rose that will steal your heart and definitely is the star of the book.
Fran Lewis: reviewer