Aug 08

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Lisa Calell’s Disconnected: Wow! Good ’til the Last Page

There have been a lot of books that I couldn’t put down because they were so exciting.  There have been others that I’ve put down (some never to pick up again) because they were so dull.  But Disconnected might be the first book I had to put down because it was too emotionally intense to handle all at once.  I was blown so far out of the water that I landed a quarter mile ashore.

The emotional impact is so effective it dazzles me.  The story is about Katie, a young married woman who suffered some unspeakable sexual abuse as a teenager and who still carries that baggage.  Although she loves her husband dearly, she isn’t certain of it herself, and has never been able to tell him so.  She fears both the past and the future, and is hardly comfortable with the present.  She experiences horror, fear, and uncertainty daily, and all in piercing ferocity.

Calell - DisconnectedMore to the point. as I read the novel, I felt it too.

I am male, so although it remains a theoretical possibility, kidnapping and rape has never been an immediate concern for me.  I knew it must be traumatic, but only from an abstract perspective.  Now I know it from experience, even if vicarious.  To take an horrific personal experience like that, suffered by thousands of women every day, and instill it into the heart of a man who never had to worry about it takes a special kind of writer.

As a matter of fact, I identified more strongly with Katie than I did her husband Chris, even though I have never known such trauma.  Calell breaks down any gender boundaries and tells a woman’s story that breaks the hearts of men.  I have something to say to any men who read the book and are not similarly affected: get some therapy!

Page after page, the reader shares in Katie’s tribulations, her struggles, her courage in facing the source of her fears, her determination of the future. It’s not a roller coaster; it’s more of a crash dive in an old rattletrap submarine, where you have to hold your breath and hope for the best. Disconnected is a powerful, powerful telling of a dismal and terrifying story.

Now, I need to point out that when I wrote “Good ’til the Last Page,” I meant that literally.  It was pretty much the last page I didn’t like.  The impact of the ending is one of those things that is going to be different for different readers, so I don’t want to dissuade anyone from reading the book, but you should do so with a certain amount of emotional fortitude and with your feet braced against the floorboard.

Update: The author as since advised me that the end of Disconnected is not actually the end of the story.  I was hoping that was the case.

Another update: I just saw one the author’s tweet quoting someone’s comment, ““An intense, emotional journey that will leave you disconnected.”  Hmmm….  As it turns out, I considered that.  Namely that she intended the ending to leave the reader feeling that way.  That still doesn’t mean I liked it, but if that was the case, then it represents a piece of truly skillful writing  Knowing it is not truly the end, I am awaiting the sequel.


Spoiler Inside: Why I Hate the Ending SelectShow

It is interesting that reviews on Amazon are all over the place; it’s almost one of those love it or hate it books.  I guess I’m in the “love it,” category, except for the ending, of course.  There are some valid complaints about technique and editing, but it is immensely readable, and for a self-published novel, fairly clean.  There were a few mistakes here and there, but nothing that should justify not enjoying the story.  I will spend quite a long time thinking of an author who touched my heart so effectively.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.duanevore.com/lisa-calells-disconnected-wow-good-til-the-last-page/


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  1. Lisa Calell

    Thank you Duane, I am glad you enjoyed Disconnected. So the last page was not your favourite – is the last page of any book ever anyones favourite? The story will continue, I will be in touch nearer the time. Thank you again.

  2. Paul Rega

    I loved this book–Lisa Calell is a master story teller—anxious to read more from this very talented author!

  3. Van

    Thanks Duane. This looks like a good one. I will have to add it to my “to be read.”

  4. Brian V. Menard, Author

    Wow! This sounds like a really great story! I’ve added it to my “Must Read” list! :)

  5. Lisa Calell

    Thank you for your kind words. Glad you enjoyed it too – makes it all worthwhile :)

  6. Kristine Cayne

    Congratulations on the great review, Lisa!

  7. Michelle Matkins

    I’ve added this book to my Must Read List! :-)

  8. Jane Carroll

    Sounds like a great story…well done!

  9. Natalie G. Owens

    What a compelling review! I can’t wait to read this book. Well done!

  10. J.P. Lane.

    Great review! I just happened to have downloaded Disconnected recently. I’m really looking forward to reading it.

  11. Marge

    Just downloaded this on my kindle even though I stopped purchasing books that have a sequel. Too many authors
    are doing this now and it is maddening when you have to wait to find out what happens. By the time the next one is out I can’t remember the complete story. I am making an exception with this book, I hope I don’t have to wait too long for the
    next installment.


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