REVIEW: UNDER THE INFLUENCE, BY JOYCE MAYNARD

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In the aftermath of her divorce, Helen found that a glass or two of wine each night after her son, Oliver, had gone to bed, could ease some of the pain. Soon she drank more and more to blur the edges and fill the empty spaces. What was the harm? He was asleep.

When an emergency arose one night, Helen made the decision to drive her son to the hospital, a choice that would alter her life forever. Pulled over and arrested for DUI, her bad times had just begun. Her ex-husband filed for full custody of five-year-old Oliver, and Helen’s life was truly empty at that point, with restricted visitation with her son.

In these dark and vulnerable moments of her life, Helen met up with a seductive wealthy couple, Swift and Ava Havilland, who charmed and literally swept her up into their inner circle, granting favors, asking some from her in return, and before she knew it, Helen was under their spell.

When she introduced her son to the inner circle of the Havillands during one of her visits, he, too, was pulled into the magical vortex these “friends” offered. Now their life seemed golden. Until it wasn’t.

Under the Influence is one of those stories that drew this reader in with its realistic situations and characters, reminding us that alcohol and drugs are not the only addictive elements in life, but people who are able to con and influence those around them can be just as dangerous. What happened to Helen would have lasting consequences, and when a life-threatening situation arose, she realized how quickly those charming people could dismiss and turn on her.

Sometimes in life, and in novels, there is no punishment for the truly dangerous people who can do grievous harm…but just when I thought there would be no consequences, something happened to bring about a little satisfaction to this reader. 5 stars.

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5 thoughts on “REVIEW: UNDER THE INFLUENCE, BY JOYCE MAYNARD

  1. Pingback: FRIDAY BLUES: TWEAKING, OGLING, & PONDERING…. | RAINY DAYS AND MONDAYS

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