Book Review: The Edge of Normal – Carla Norton

The Edge of Normal coverTitle: The Edge of Normal
Author: Carla Norton
ISBN: 9781250031044
Pages: 320
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5


When she was a teenager, Reeve LeClaire was kidnapped and held for three years, forced to endure unspeakable horrors. Now, she’s in her twenties, trying to live her life, though it’s difficult. Her severe PTSD means that the only meaningful relationship in her life is one with her therapist, Dr. Lerner. When news comes out that another young girl, Tilly Cavanaugh, has been rescued from a similar situation to Reeve’s, the family reaches out to Reeve to see if she can help their daughter. But it seems as though Tilly isn’t being as open as she should, and Reeve wonders if there is more to her case than the police know.

Snapshot Review:

An edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller with a strong and sympathetic main character, The Edge of Normal is a book you’ll want to read in one sitting.

Full Review:

The Edge of Normal is a gripping novel that balances multiple storylines, providing an absorbing reading experience from beginning to end. Let’s start with Reeve, the main character. The things she, and Tilly, had to endure were both frightening and unimaginable. It’s amazing she can function at all, and so the fact that her life is a bit paralyzed when the novel begins is understandable. She can’t seem to take any more steps forward and is mostly happy with how she lives. That is, until she hears news of Tilly and knows that, somehow, she must overcome her issues to help this young girl. Reeve’s strength is admirable, and readers will enjoy getting to know her and will appreciate her honest, frank voice as she narrates this novel.

Carla Norton is originally a true crime writer who has since turned to fiction; The Edge of Normal is her first novel. That experience shines through on every page of the book, though. Not only does Norton know how these predators think, but she also is aware of the psychological damage they do to their victims. Both Reeve and Tilly are very believable, and it’s interesting how Norton doesn’t shy away from the difficult side effects of Reeve’s PTSD. This novel has many layers, and it’s gratifying she faced the psychological aspects of it head on.

It’s almost needless to say at this point that The Edge of Normal has a captivating storyline, but I’ll state the obvious anyways. Norton does a great job with the narrative, and what’s more, she makes a believable (and yet completely chilling) villain. Reeve is too great of a character for just one book, so here’s hoping that Norton chooses to use Reeve to anchor a new series. But whatever the author chooses to do next, I will not hesitate to read it, as her talent and skill means that anything she writes will be good.

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  1. I would like to read the viewpoints of both girls. Helping another person who has survived a similar situation as yourself must feel like your living the whole horrible nightmare over again. It’s a great review. I would like to read the book. Will make a note of the title. Not familiar with the author.

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