Take This Longing – Jennifer Jones

This is a book that was given to me by a friend I’ve known for a long time, such a long time it never occurred to me to tell her about my aversion to romance. I’m here to tell you why you need to read this book and why I read it right to the end, I’ll also tell you why I think the romance is not needed in this case so you can read it and figure out whether I’m right or wrong.

Janey and Neil become strong friends following a meeting at the scene of a murder. Neil is in the police force and just happens to be the boss of Janey’s husband. On the surface it seems they are happily married but as the book progresses we see the tensions within and see how spousal abuse starts.

There is some very strong writing in this book and I really hope Jones puts pen to paper more often, her characters are well written, I only take issue with the romance but that is very likely to be me and not the writing. I had great trouble putting it down despite the romance but my thoughts on that will come later on. The content of the book is very important, as WIRE Women’s Information and Referral Exchange Inc. says

“Family violence knows no boundaries – Jenny Jones has written about an issue that affects all of us. Janey’s experiences have been shared by women from every walk of life: women of all ages, all religions, all backgrounds, and every colour. The courage and resilience these women show in surviving family violence is remarkable and often unacknowledged. Take this longing is an engaging story of one woman’s experience of family violence, and it explores an issue that is thought-provoking and challenging for every reader.”

If you follow me on Facebook you’ll know I’m a big supporter of Impact for Women who link to WIRE on their website and also support ladies fleeing domestic violence. Family violence is a terrible thing and it is so hard when you’re in the middle of it to see what is happening to you, it’s so easy to see it as love and affection, you generally don’t notice what’s really happening until the violence is way over the top or until he hits the kids (I know I’m going to get some flack from friends about focussing on the man as the perpetrator, but that’s what happens in the majority of cases). This book helps you to see the beginning steps, and the friendship between Neil and Janey is very important here as she comes to trust him and know that what he says is real so when she hears about the new Police initiative about family violence she starts to come to the realisation that she may be a victim.

The issue I have with romance in literature, especially literature where there are dangerous situations is that the characters tend to fall in love really easily, most especially with a character who was in the situation with them and that’s where I find it hard to believe, when you’ve been in a dangerous situation your emotions are on the blink and strange things may happen. Now, the friendship between Neil and Janey is imperative to the story but she has a troubled marriage and when she realises something is wrong then there’s bound to be rebound love onto someone close and the only person close is Neil. I won’t mention her background in the book but it seems clear to me that her marriage wasn’t really love despite her protestations and telling us so many times but her husband made all the right moves and pretended love so well she looked as if she was in love with him. Janey’s marriage was well depicted, from both sides of the marriage. We see how she thinks she is in love with him and we also see from his point of view how he feels about her body and how it’s all about him and his control over her, some of this comes across from her point of view.

You can buy this either in paperback or ebook both are available through Amazon. A percentage of sales will be donated to WIRE.

Warnings:

This is not a book for children, there is violence and sex scenes.