If nothing else comes of this journey, I am truly grateful for such beautiful reviews. I wish I could shake each of their hands and tell them thank you eye to eye.
“His fingertips began apologizing, grazing over my cheeks. He closed his eyes and stepped toward me until our bodies touched. He kept walking toward me until we were both against the wall. He then buried his face in my blouse as he began to weep. ‘I’m so sorry,’ he whimpered. ‘Do you understand me? I’m so, so sorry.’ He held my face in his hands. My heart pounded. My chest hurt. How could I go? But how could I possibly stay?”
When Kendall Berkely takes a look in the mirror, she not only desperately wants to run away from the stranger staring back at her, she also knows that her days are numbered. She can feel it in her bones, and has the bruises to prove it. To make matters worse, Kendall will soon discover that her seventeen year old daughter, Diamond is on a path nearly just as dangerous.
After the demise of the family unit she once knew, a distracted mother, and being forced to accept a new stepfather, Diamond finds herself knee deep in a multitude of mistakes. When Diamond finds herself more lonely than ever before, she crosses paths with Bobby Lidell, a teacher’s aide with a dark side ..
But what is lurking in the shadows will not stop until a vow has been kept; what is lurking just beneath the surface will come seeking revenge.
I have never been in an abusive relationship. I have watched a LOT of true crime shows and read a LOT of true crime books that involve abuse and a woman staying in a relationship that clearly is going to escalate to hospitalization or even death. I can imagine those women having the same thought processes and rationales as Kendall. There’s a feeling after reading this book of having been behind the scenes to see something rare and the need to share that new knowledge with women or men who may find themselves in a similar situation.Kendall is unhappy with her relationship and looks to move on. She’s been with the father of her two children a long time and while marriage is important to her, he doesn’t see the point. He’s written as a bit of a self-absorbed jerk at the start of the novel. “My life is important and what you do doesn’t matter.” When they break off and Kendall starts a new relationship there are signs. Signs that she chooses to ignore. Ramsey does a good job showing us where Kendall’s life falls apart and the reasons she chooses to stay.While she’s moving on, Diamond is falling apart. She’s promised her friend that they’ll wait to have sex until they’re married and then, in the midst of her parents divorce, breaks that vow with the a man who was engaged to a friend’s mother. Her reputation at school is trashed, she’s called horrible names and boys are saying that they slept with her that haven’t (of course, she’s called a whore and they’re patted on the back). She gets involved with an older authority figure that warns her up front that he’s intense in relationships. Like all girls, she finds this appealing at first but the reality can be scary.What most impressed me about this book was how carefully Ramsey plotted the abuser. He’s about control….
Kendall and Michael have two children and have been playing house. Kendall wants more but Michael does not. They break up, which affects the children. Kendall meets a man who she feels treats her like a queen and eventually they get married. As time goes on, Kendall sees her husband for the man he really is. Will masking her own problems cause her to lose her kids?“Just Beneath the Surface I” portrays a realistic account of domestic abuse and the effects it can have on an entire family. We sit back and assume no one will know if we cover up the bruises or make excuses for the abuser. Ramsey does an excellent job of presenting the story through the voice of the women. This is a book I’d recommend. It’s a well-written page turner packed with a powerful message.Reviewed by: Jas/OOSA Online Bookclub
Just Beneath the surface is a study in abuse. You automatically know this will be a story about domestic abuse; you just have to wonder how it will be told. R.H. Ramsey does a terrific job in her telling. Like the peeling of an onion, just as one layer of abuse is revealed another is seen just beneath the surface. As I read the story I began to see the problem started in subtle ways. What seemed like a loving, fun filled family was really a group of people always ticking at each other. Name calling and teasing between brother and sister, snide, belittling remarks between the parents, and a woman who doesn’t have respect for the man she is with is a disaster waiting to happen.
Kendall harbors resentment and lack of respect for the easy going man she has been with from high school. Michael feeds her resentment by having excuses for not marrying her after 14 years of living together. The children dislike each other, jealous because of the obvious favoritism for one by the opposite parent. Just as I thought everything was about to blow up, the story took a totally different turn and the parents separated, revealing a level of an entirely different form of abuse.In this deeper level, Ramsey decided to tell the story through the alternating voice of the women. Kendall finds and marries a new man and will do anything and accepts every thing in order to keep this man. Even to the point of ignoring her children and the ability to save her daughter from following in her footsteps.This is definitely a book to read. Just when you expect one thing to happen, another layer is revealed and you are pulled deeper and further beneath the surface.
I love how the title really sets the theme of this book. You have to look at what is not being said to truly get into the mindset of the main characters. I feel as though this books allows you to get a deeper look inside the feelings and actions of the abuser, the abused, and those left in the wreckage of abuse. I found the authors depiction of the internal and external conflict shockingly real. It was really interesting to see the story take such a surprising direction at the end.
This is an excellent book and can be used to help others who may feel trapped in this type of situation. This was an inspirational story and I enjoyed reading this book. I know that many people who find themselves in these type of relationships are stuck in the cycle and hope that their partner will change, just like Kendell.
– Christy Garrett
This book deals with domestic violence, and would be considered heavy for some. Its not normally the sort of topic I would gravitate toward, but Ramsey’s style of writing draws you in right from the first paragraph.
When Kendall Berkely takes a look in the mirror, she not only desperately wants to run away from the stranger staring back at her; but she also knows that her days are numbered. She can feel it in her bones, and has the bruises to prove it. To make matters worse, Kendall will soon discover that her seventeen year old daughter, Diamond is on a path nearly just as dangerous.
You are drawn into the story right from the get go. I like the way each character gives use their point of view during the story. There are many twist and turns in the book that keep you on the edge of your seat reading it. While I’ve never been in this type of relationship–I’ve had two very close friends that were and the mindset of Kendall is so very true to what I’ve seen. Ramsey does a good job showing us where Kendall’s life falls apart and the reasons she thought she had to stay.
Ms. Ramsey created a tale that was painful to read. I left each chapter feeling shaken and praying that the main character would make the changes necessary for her life.It was fascinating to read the inner workings of the mind from each character’s point of view.I give the book 5 stars for detail, accuracy and plot development. I must admit I was sad till the very end because I know this story is real-life for so many people today.
This book just touches me so much. The description and vividness mad you feel like it was you in the novel. It’s hard to believe it was fiction, it was so well written. I actually read it twice. Thank you so much for the escape from reality and my own problems! GREAT AUTHOR! (Amazon Reviewer)