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Home to Me*
Learning to Trust after Trauma
Lucy’s back home and is out with a friend drinking because the last man she dated made unkind remarks about her. Sam, her late brother’s best friend, happens to be there and overhears their discussion. After a come-on from someone else that she didn’t appreciate yet not wanting to go home to her mother’s, she asks Sam to take her back to his place so they can catch up. It ends up to be a far more emotional discussion than she would have imagined as she decides to tell him about a sexual assault that she suffered while she was living away. She and her best friend had concocted a crazy scheme to help her get over the trauma of the attack, and she asks Sam to help her find a kind and patient man who will help her learn to enjoy sex again.
What will Sam think of this question? Will he help Lucy and her plan to move beyond her pain?
While this book should probably have a trigger warning about sexual assault, I thought the author did a good job of handling this difficult subject sensitively. It’s quite clear that Lucy is suffering emotional aftereffects of her assault still two years later, but she is not willing to live the rest of her life in fear, and so she makes a bold plan. She and Sam have an extensive history, including that both have had a secret attraction to the other though neither thought it was appropriate to act on it. Sam also promised Lucy’s brother that he would protect her.
At times, this is a difficult book to read because of subject matter, yet the relationship between Sam and Lucy is so beautifully rendered that it’s worth getting past that to see Lucy learn to trust again and Sam’s gentle treatment of her.
Sam is such a sensitive hero, and you can tell that he really cares for Lucy. While his first impulse is to avenge her, he also knows the importance of being there for her and helping her get past her trauma. He demands that he be the man, if she is determined to go along with her plan, because he can trust no one else with her. The way he allows her to set the pace within limits he provides showed his respect and caring for her.