Foreword Reviews

Blurred Fates

A Novel

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Blurred Fates is a tense, emotional thriller about betrayal and strength.

A husband’s indiscretion sends a woman into a psychological tailspin in Anastasia Zadeik’s domestic thriller Blurred Fates.

Doctors’ visits are nothing new for Kate, but the most recent ones are worrying. When her husband, Jacob, confesses to a drunken escapade that he does not remember, her entire world is upended. She is flooded by memories from her teenage years—memories of neglect and abuse that she worked to banish to the darkest recesses of her mind.

In the turmoil that has become their marriage, Kate and Jacob turn to their best friend, Ryan, for support. Like a brother to Jacob, Ryan steps in to help Kate make space for her emotions and help with the kids. Desperate to reconcile but respectful of Kate’s wishes, Jacob steps back. Kate is thrown once more by the menacing return of her brother. With so much going on in her head and in her heart, Kate is sure of one thing, and one thing only: she will be a good mother to her children.

Kate is a survivor. Throughout the book, there are vivid examples of Kate taking charge of her life, her mental and physical health, and her children’s well-being. She has been through hell, and even though she cannot articulate what happened to her to her husband, she is aware enough of her trauma, and how it affects her, to seek help. This is supported by the book’s revelation that Kate has been in therapy for several years. Stable for quite a while, her crisis peaks with the confluence of her husband’s infidelity, her brother’s return, and an unexpected medical emergency. The book holds all of these disparate parts in breathless tension as one act informs another, and as all of the parts swirl around in Kate’s psyche.

Mental and emotional health and healing from trauma are the book’s main foci, and it handles them with utmost care. Though the nature of the abuse is telegraphed early, the extent of it, as well as Kate’s family history with mental illness, is revealed in careful, strategic ways. The book has several scenes with Kate in crisis, Kate using healthy coping mechanisms, and Kate in therapy, all of which work to support the emotional weight of the story, and to lay the groundwork for Kate’s move toward healing. The structure of the therapy sessions themselves are a nuanced vehicle for Kate’s development, separate and distinct from her limited narrative view in the rest of the book.

The book could not end without one last major twist, and because it is a logical one, it is not the most surprising. After maintaining a heightened emotional atmosphere for the majority of the book, the ending is comparatively tidy. It is, however, a realistic depiction of two people who are determined to work through their issues.

Blurred Fates is a tense, emotional thriller about betrayal and strength.

Reviewed by Dontaná McPherson-Joseph

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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