Sunday 12 January 2020

Book ~ "Seven Days" (2019) Alex Lake

From Goodreads ~ In seven days, Maggie’s son, Max, turns three. But she’s not planning a party or buying presents or updating his baby book. She’s dreading it. Because in her world, third birthdays are the days on which the unthinkable happens ... she loses her child.

For the last twelve years Maggie has been imprisoned in a basement. Abducted aged fifteen, she gave birth to two sons before Max and on their third birthdays, her captor came and took them from her.

She cannot let it happen again. But she has no idea how to stop it. And the clock is ticking.

Maggie is 15 years old when she's abducted in 2006 while walking to her cousin's house.  She spends the next twelve years living in a windowless room with no means to escape.  "The man" brings her food twice a day, rapes her often and punishes her when she gets out of line.  She makes a rough calendar to keep track of time.  She becomes pregnant with Seb.  Despite how he was conceived, Maggie loves him more than she thought could be possible.  On Seb's third birthday, "the man" takes him away and she never sees him again.  She gets pregnant again with Leo and the same thing happens on his third birthday.  She gets pregnant a third time with Max.  She knows now what will happen to Max on his third birthday (in seven days) and gets more panicked as the day approaches.

In the meantime, Maggie's family has no idea what has happened to her.  Has she run away?  Has she been murdered?  Has she been sold as a sex slave for porn movies and/or prostitution?  As the years go by and there is no sign of her, they try to move on with their lives.

Given the storyline, I found this book a bit disturbing to read ... but I kept going hoping Maggie would be able to escape somehow and "the man" (we find out who it is about halfway through the book) would be brought to justice.

I liked the writing style.  It is written in third person perspective with the focus on wherever the action is ... Maggie, her mother, her brother, her father and the investigating police officer.  The timeline jumps back and from from 2006 to 2018 and is labeled at the beginning of the chapters when the time changes.  As a head's up, there is swearing, adult activity and violence.

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