Bringing Up Books: Guilt By Association

Guilt By Association by Susan R. Sloan 

Karen Kern is a spirited young woman who, at a pivotal point in her life – right before marriage and really coming into her own, becomes a victim of rape. Near death, she is discovered the following morning, but though she knew her attacker, her word against his left him uncharged and free to go. The story then follows Karen through her life and the challenges and consequences that have resonated from that singular event; a family that shoves the rape under the rug, a mother who blames her, a boyfriend who she can’t bear to tell the truth. She copes, she grows, she changes. In a time where women were expected to marry and raise children, where their voice held far less than a mans, Karen finds herself pushed onto another path, one that eventually leads her back to her date-rape assailant (who has grown successful and trustworthy). A path that allows her some final closure.

Again, this is another book whose characters are so vivid, they all have just enough detail to either love them or hate them. In moments I hated his book, because, like one commentator on Amazon pointed out, Karen is strong and vulnerable, lovable and flawed -she is human, so she makes mistakes and deals with her challenges in real ways. This book is set during the cusp of women’s acceptance in the workforce and having a different life than marriage and motherhood and encompasses the transition from traditional thinking.

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