For anyone who has been following the blog for a while, you know that during 2017 I have taken on a reading challenge and one of the items on the list was to read a book published this year; and you really can’t get any newer than a book hot off the press in January!
Isolation Junction is written by Jennifer Gilmour and follows Rose who finds herself stuck in an abusive marraige with (seemingly) no way out. I thought the blurb sounded interesting so I volunteered to join the book tour in return for a pre-release copy of the book.
Rose is the mother of two young children, and finds herself living a robotic life with an abusive and controlling husband. While she struggles to maintain a calm front for the sake of her children, inside Rose is dying and trapped in ‘Isolation Junction’.
She runs an online business from home, because Darren won’t let her work outside the house. Through this, she meets other mums and finds courage to attend networking events, while Darren is at work, to promote her business.
It’s at one of these events that Rose meets Tim, a sympathetic, dark-haired stranger who unwittingly becomes an important part of her survival.
After years of emotional abuse, of doubting her future and losing all self-confidence, Rose takes a stand. Finding herself distraught, alone and helpless, Rose wonders how she’ll ever escape with her sanity and her children. With 100 reasons to leave and 1,000 reasons she can’t, will she be able to do it?
Will Tim help her? Will Rose find peace and the happiness she deserves? Can Rose break free from this spiralling life she so desperately wants to change?
An extract of the book is as follows and for anyone who wishes to read more; this can be purchased online via Amazon.
Tears coursed down Rose’s face; she was now shivering and her breath was visible every time she sobbed. Rose looked at the time on her iPhone, it had only been a minute but it felt like time had stopped still. Rose glazed over as she looked around. There was no one to be seen, not even any cars were in sight. She was sat in a slushy, muddy puddle but didn’t move; she wouldn’t care if she was cemented there like a statue. Rose sobbed more as she remembered the time when she realised she had lost control of what she could do for her future and make the choices she wanted to.
* * *
Once again I was asleep, in a deep dream remembering back to my ex-fiancé who kept saying he had forgiven me and taken me back after I realised my regret and was now with Darren. I often woke turning over and realising who I was sleeping next to and it wasn’t my ex; then came the tears because this dream in particular was so vivid and life-like (even down to the smells and touch) that I truly believed it had happened. This night though, Darren had decided to wake me and wanted to talk about something not so urgent yet again.
“So were you going to tell me?” Darren was shaking me and repeating it over and over again. I knew what Darren was like after the last time he had behaved like this; the difference was that I was now seven months pregnant.
I managed to brush him off with a common and perfect pregnancy excuse, “I’m going to pee myself, hang on!!” and escaping his grip, I rushed to the bathroom and leapt onto the toilet. I had taken my iPhone with me; I remember having the blurry vision as I was still waking up; I made out the time and it was just 2am. There wasn’t a lock on this bathroom door and it wasn’t a surprise that Darren had followed me in moments later, even if I was in the middle of a long pee, but I knew what to do and ignored him.
“So were you going to tell me, then?” Darren started.
I began to rack my brain on how to manage the situation as I had gained that ability last time and at least it had calmed down even if I had swallowed my pride. “I don’t know what you’re talking about? But I am on the loo here,” I replied thinking how was this going to go down. I was sat on the toilet waiting for him to leave so I could simply wipe up and pull my PJ bottoms up.
Darren didn’t like the fact that I didn’t know what he was talking about. “Don’t act like you don’t know when I know you do.”
By this point, I realised he wasn’t going to leave and started cleaning up and feeling very embarrassed that I couldn’t have a little privacy. I washed my hands and headed to the door when Darren put his arm across so I couldn’t pass. I didn’t know how to react but he seemed more fired up and angry this time; it felt like a ticking time bomb all the time and you would never know when it would erupt. I felt it would be nice for it just to be done with, ‘just hit me’, I thought because then we could move on for another few weeks; I couldn’t stand the way he made me nervous and on edge constantly.
I turned and Darren seemed to be distressed and not concentrating on me so I looked at my iPhone and thought, ‘shall I chance letting someone know’? My heart was beginning to race and I started to get clammy; I didn’t really know what this man was capable of because it wasn’t the Darren I had first met. Everything seemed to have been fine since the last incident which I thought was a one-off (but clearly not).
Darren screamed in my face, “WELL?” He obviously thought I would know and I was racking my brain so hard to work out what on earth it was that was so bad.
“I’ll give you a clue: you don’t learn from your mistakes.” Darren seemed to be getting more agitated because I simply had no idea.
“Did I not talk to you about something?” I replied thinking this could cover all bases but my voice gave away just how scared I was becoming; how was I meant to control the tremor? Darren was beginning to think I was making fun and a mockery of him. “WHY are you doing this? YOU KNOW WHAT’S WRONG! Don’t act stupid about it.”
Darren was losing his temper more and was now face to face with me. I couldn’t look him in the eye and had one hand in my pyjama pocket as I had my iPhone there. My iPhone never left my side, it is my security blanket (my best friend and worst enemy). I could even type on my iPhone without looking. I thought about my next move and what to do whilst Darren was screaming in my face. The teenage years of ignoring my parents whilst they told me off came into good use. I could hum a song in my head and still look like I was listening to them and taking it in. It seemed really childish but it worked and I had to do what got me through this.
I spoke, “Look, it’s like I’ve said, it’s really late and I’m not thinking straight, you know what I’m like when I first wake up,” speaking softly to try and calm him down. “Let me just give my dad a ring ‘cause he’s good at putting me in my place and I’ve clearly upset you.”
Darren erupted, “What, so you can put me down? I DONT THINK SO!” Darren started holding his head in his hands and pacing round near the door (my exit was now blocked), it was as if he was having a mental breakdown. I hadn’t seen him behave like this before and was becoming increasingly worried as to what would happen next. He wasn’t as irate the last time he had an issue with me. Darren began muttering to himself and trying to calm himself down; this completely freaked me out.
I thought I would be able to get my iPhone out as he seemed very distracted and not too concerned with me. I strategically and slowly put my hand in my pyjama pocket with my heart racing so fast that I thought Darren may be able to hear it. My hands were now shaking as I managed to get my iPhone into position in my palm but still in my pocket. I unlocked it and pressed the contacts app. This is where it became tricky, I had to get to my dad’s phone number and ring it. I looked over my nose as I bent my hand to see the screen and started to tap, with much amazement; obviously my 24/7 iPhone use came through as it was ringing out to my dad.
It was like a lion catching its prey. Darren could hear my phone dialling out and punched straight to it. I had a hold of it so tightly it was like a fight for my life, gripping on, but Darren was too strong and he forced it out of my hand and then threw it on the cold tiled floor where it shattered into pieces. For a split second I thought that this would be it, he would calm down now he’d broken something but he swung for me with his fist so tight and face screaming with rage.
* * *
The thoughts became too much for Rose as she shook her head in her hands; tears broke through her fingers and she lightly bellowed as she felt a pain, her heart aching, her stomach churning and the flood of sickness overcame her. Then creeping around the corner she saw a familiar car appear and it mounted the kerb near Rose.