Title: Two Weep No More
Author: Faith Wilkerson
Published by: Independently published
Publication date: 31st March, 2021
Genre: Psychological Suspense
Format: ARC – eBook
Nature-loving twins Brenner and Deirdre Hatcher have never known what it means to have a loving home life. With an abusive mother and an absentee dad, they struggle with finding their place in the world as seventeen-year-olds. Together, they make a plan to survive their senior year of high school before leaving their town and never looking back. However, the bullying, beatings, and berating they face continue to confront them, threatening to crush their dreams and destroy all their hopes. The battles they must face daily, both at school and at home, have created a relentless inner turmoil, affecting their psychological and emotional development. This leaves a warped perception of life, the world, and their place in it. At the end of the day, the twins only have each other’s love and encouragement to help them survive.
Deirdre’s characteristically free-spirit and Brenner’s desire to prove himself in his “quest for courage” guide them in making different choices in response to their own personal conflicts. This will ultimately define the separate courses of their ultimate destinies. When destruction strikes, their bond will be pushed to the limit. Will coping with all their trials give them the strength they need to withstand the cruel unfairness of their lives? Or will the sorrow of bearing all that abuse ultimately be their undoing?
I offered to read the ARC of Two Weep no More via one of the groups I am in on facebook, in return for an honest review. I am grateful to author Faith Wilkerson for reaching out and adding me to her street team.
The sharp-eyed amongst you will notice that I’ve not given this book a star-review rating. I want to be upfront about this and say that’s not because I feel the book doesn’t deserve one, but because more a reflection on me as a reviewer as I don’t know how to accurately rate this book without doing it a dis-service.
While the blurb of the book states clearly that there is content within the pages that’s going to be difficult to read, I didn’t think that the content of the book was going to be as horrific as it was. Usually, when there’s content warnings it’s usually due to one or two scenes, but the entirely of Two Weep no More is focused on the abuses that twin siblings Deirdre and Brenner suffer through at either the hands of school-bullies or their own mother. As each chapter progresses the abuses slowly get worse and worse; to the point where their mother is forcing Deirdre to eat a cup-full of dirt while using a baseball bat on her sons legs as an incentive to get her to eat faster. In a lot of respects this book is terrible for the content is holds, it is so vividly written that the abuses leap off the page and grab you. Even when it feels like there is a sense of happiness for either of the twins, that is pulled from underneath them and wrapped up in new means of torture for the central characters.
Deirdre and Brenner themselves are wonderful characters, wrapped up in their lives as high-school teenagers and sharing their memoirs of their younger years. Giving detailed accounts of the traumas they have suffered and the reasoning why they are unable to reach out to those that they should be able to trust. Their mother, Nerezza, is a high-flying judge of the small town in which they live in and has had everyone fooled into seeing her as a saintly, single parent, struggling with troubled children.
The journey from beginning to end is laced with the troubles in which Deirdre and Brenner face and how they both hold on to an ever fleeting sense of hope. A dream that keeps them going until the tragic, bitter end. There is little-to-no reprieve for the characters, or the reader, and as each Chapter starts a new scene is set for the characters to endure. While the twins laugh together they live in fear of what’s to come. This tension is carried directly to the reader, who comes to fear the appearance of their Mother as much as the twins do. As an outsider looking in, you are as helpless to end the suffering as the twins are. This is how well-written and articulated the story is. How real the feelings that are expressed and how vividly each scene is painted. I have read books that have made me feel uncomfortable in certain chapters before, but never to the extent that Two Weep no More takes the feelings of discomfort. There is true horror in these pages. A horror that only the most depraved of humanity can bring forth.
I can easily understand that many a reader will be put off this book and I am certain it will end up with a lot of ‘Did not finish’ reviews due to the content and context. It’s not a book that will sit comfortable with those of a sensitive disposition and while I am certainly not of the faint hearted, there were times when I wondered, is this for me. However, never once was I tempted to put this book down and call it a day. I was entranced by what was being endured but ultimately, I wanted answers. Why was no one helping these poor children? Would they ever get out of their dire situation and be able to live the care-free lives they imagine? The thirst for resolution is what kept me going, there is a relatable quality to the twins that is brought through the writing that keeps them engaged with the reader, making you care about their eventual fate. And even as every last candle of hope feels like it is being snuffed out, you still root for the twins and pray that everything will be resolved happily.
[Edit] Since writing this review, I have been informed by the author that there will be a full disclaimer in the book for content warnings. As the copy I read and reviewed was an ARC this wasn’t included due to time constraint.
Not a book for the faint-hearted, with graphic descriptions of child, physical, emotional and sexual abuse. It’s hard to read due to the content but not for the easy-to-pick-up writing style. Faith Wilkerson is an author to watch and I am eager to sample more of her writing in the future.