Love on Death Row by Melissa Love
I picked up this book a few days ago and decided to read it. My guilty pleasure genre is urban/street genre book, it could be romance, thrillers, crime but generally with that vibe.
I was blown away. This is a story about a woman who is violently abused in her marriage in all ways and ends up on death row for killing her abuser. This is books is about what happens when the abused clings on to the abuser for whatever reason.
De’Nesha married to Terence and on the outside it seems a perfect marriage however inside she is bound to horrific abuse and manipulation by this monster. This monster manages to turn everyone against her, but stupidly De’Nesha keeps on giving him chances. This is the rule book and very factual in behaviours.
She even has two good friends who in the end cut her off. She goes a bit crazy at some point seeking revenge and it really ends badly, and I’ won’t tell you how but at times I felt like shaking some sense into De’Nesha and telling her to walk away.
It ends badly for all involved and the author Melissa Love had ruled out bringing a part two. That’s how strong she wants to message of her book to stay. A part two will dilute that message and give people – victims and abusers – a reason to stay in a destructive cycle. Or even us on lookers to make the mistakes. No redemption in this book, is all I can say.
At times it too even too horrific for me to read, and then I kept on questioning why did the Melissa Love allow it go so far, what was purpose then it hit me. Bang, it slapped me around the face and I realised it was a cautionary tale. A warning about letting a situation get too far and not knowing when to walk away, move on and start a fresh.
For the message it’s carries about those in abusive relationships or just as a life lesson it is a brilliant read. I cannot judge it on any other merit because the message is so important and can be applied to most abusive or conflictual situations in life. This is not about the quality of the writing, or narrative or even voice or craft. This book is hurricane in good lessons about life and knowing when to walk away.
The strength and power of this book is that a reader walks away pondering the story long after the final page. The reader learns from the character De’Nesha Cole’s mistakes. As a writer, I’d have tried to make it pretty and forgiving but Ms Love is stronger and braver – she knows this message is important. People need to pay for their mistakes in fiction and in life.
Overall, great read and quite a lot to take in.