The Fading Place by Mary SanGiovanni

fading_placeIt has to be every mother’s worst nightmare, standing by your car, the baby strapped in the back seat, when a gun is pressed against her and she’s told to drive. This is Charlie’s predicament – a single mother with her infant suddenly driving away from safety with an unhinged woman named Simone pointing a gun and threatening both of them. This isn’t a carjacking though; Simone wants a baby – Charlie’s baby.

This short story takes us on a road trip through rural New Jersey as Simone directs Charlie to her destination. Simone is obsessed with the fade, something that sucks color and life from the world. Simone is extremely volatile and out of control, deeply disturbed and liable to snap at a moment’s notice.  The author generates a very tense atmosphere throughout the book. There is an incredible sadness and emotion as we learn more of Simone’s motivations and experiences.

This is a powerful short story, unfortunately all too close to the real world. This is gripping, recommended reading. I will be sure to seek out some full length titles from Mary SanGiovanni.

7.5/10

Book Cover Blurb:

Charlie Van Houten is a single mother running the usual weekend errands with her beautiful baby girl Haley, until a delusional gun-wielding woman named Simone takes them hostage in their own car. As they make their way to an unknown final destination, and Simone’s paranoia spirals further out of control, Charlie must stop a different kind of monster from taking away all that she loves.

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