The Woman Puzzle by Judith Speizer Crandell

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Can a broken woman accept her brokenness and move on?

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WINNER, BEST ORIGINAL NOVEL (DELAWARE PRESS ASSOCIATION 2020 COMMUNICATION AWARDS)

THE WOMAN PUZZLE, the new novel by author author Judith Speizer Crandell, is a gripping tale of survival.

“Daddy. Wake up, Daddy!”

On the night before her eighth birthday, Anne Bergman calls out these words to her beloved father.

He never answers.

He never wakes up.

For the rest of her life, Anne is haunted by that moment in time and the nightmare that follows.

When her unstable, narcissistic mother, Irene, remarries, Anne is plunged further into darkness. Bernie is young, powerful, and lecherous, and desires his new teenage stepdaughter. Powerless against Bernie’s sexual assaults, Anne furtively seeks solace in the shadows and exists in constant fear. With no help forthcoming, Anne’s life is an open wound.

At fifteen, Anne is the adult in a house occupied by her mentally ill mother and her frightened, disturbed younger brother. Lost and defeated, Anne is a broken adolescent, attending to everyone’s needs except her own. Repeatedly tested by the people in her life, Anne compartmentalizes her brokenness as she struggles to retain her sanity. She is always just one puzzle piece away from falling apart.

Pregnant at nineteen, Anne flees into, and then out of, a doomed marriage. To save herself, she makes the difficult decision to leave her two children, as well as her husband. She journeys across the country, from the East Coast to the West Coast, seeking recovery and peace. Along the way, Anne enters into a significant relationship with a Vietnam vet whose struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder mirrors her own. Deep inside, she knows somewhere, somehow, she must move from victim to victor.

Can a broken woman accept her brokenness and move on?

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Additional information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 9 in
Softcover

272 pages