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A Narrow Road: Rust Book 3 by Samantha Arthurs
To really understand a person, you have to go all the way back to the beginning of the story.
Most people see Alec Davis as the sort of boy who has everything. He’s athletic, has a strong social circle, and comes from a well-off family. On the outside his life is perfect, but on the inside? It’s anything but.
Uprooted from his life in Atlanta after his father’s decision to move the family west, Alec is left at a private school in Colorado while the rest of the household head to Montana to settle into their new home. Alone in a new situation he seems to adapt well at first, making friends and joining the basketball team. Slowly, however, the threads holding him together begin to unravel until everything falls apart with frightening results.
A Narrow Road by Samantha Arthurs is the prequel to book 1 of the Rust series, and therefore is fine to read as a standalone. This is a ‘Young Adult, Social Issues’ book, which sensitively looks deep into the psyche of a depressed teenager, with an uplifting ending.
Alec Davis Jr. is on a journey. Not only is his family moving to Rust in Montana, but he is being put in a boarding school. He doesn’t really want to leave Atlanta and his friends behind, he doesn’t want to go to boarding school, and he definitely doesn’t want to be separated from his brother Bryson. But his volatile, overbearing and controlling father doesn’t consider the thoughts of anyone else in the family. Alec’s mum tries her best to comfort him, and his Bryson promises to be there for him, at the end of a telephone, any time, night or day. You see, it is only Bryson who really understands that Alec has problems. Not just your normal teenage anxieties, which are bad enough, but deep-rooted problems with depression. Alec is soon out of his depth, not in control and spiraling downwards. His roommate is a true friend and reaches out, but depression is a disease that’s not easy to understand. All the way through, I kept thinking, will Alec make it? He’s such a nice young man you just want him to overcome.
The author really understands the mindset of someone suffering from depression. The thoughts and conversations are believable and compelling. The character’s (except one) are likable and engaging, and even the one you don’t like is realistic. A Narrow Road is emotional and moving, it is also insightful to this awful disease we call depression. Maybe if his father could have understood him a little better he might not have got so low?
Samantha Arthurs has made a brave move to write about an issue that is tender and raw and utterly sad. She has done so with a ‘light-touch’ which makes it hard to put the book down, so eager was I to know what would happen I was compelled to keep turning pages. Despite the subject matter there is a nice steady flow to the text that relaxes the author. I was moved to tears at one point, but also closed the book at the end with a smile and a feeling of being uplifted. A Narrow Road: Rust Book 3 by Samantha Arthurs is recommended by Chick Lit Café.
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