When I Am Through With You
by Stephanie Kuehn
To be published on August 1, 2017
Synopsis from Goodreads: This isn’t meant to be a confession. Not in any spiritual sense of the word. Yes, I’m in jail at the moment. I imagine I’ll be here for a long time, considering. But I’m not writing this down for absolution and I’m not seeking forgiveness, not even from myself. Because I’m not sorry for what I did to Rose. I’m just not. Not for any of it. Ben Gibson is many things, but he’s not sorry and he’s not a liar. He will tell you exactly about what happened on what started as a simple school camping trip in the mountains. About who lived and who died. About who killed and who had the best of intentions. But he’s going to tell you in his own time. Because after what happened on that mountain, time is the one thing he has plenty of.
My review of When I Am Through With You:
So. Many. Thoughts.
First: I’m a huge fan of Stephanie Kuehn. She’s an amazing writer who excels at writing characters who are troubled, off-balance, sometimes even a little sinister.
Second: I now understand the title of the book. When this book was through with me, I wrote that ‘help me’ note in my photo. Kidding. Kind of.
Third: This book was a lot dark — and a little too dark for me. All Kuehn’s books are haunting, suspenseful, and fairly unsettling. But this one was graphic and haunting in a way that I wasn’t totally prepared for. I mean, maybe since, in the first 75 pages, this book referenced three books/movies I find extremely disturbing: Lord of the Flies, Deliverance and Old Yeller, I should have steeled myself.
In short, this is a book about a camping trip gone terribly, horribly wrong. A trip that ends with a body count. But like all Kuehn’s books, there is a lot under the surface. Ben is the survivor of an accident that has left him with terrible migraines. At the end of the first chapter, he’s telling us he’s killed someone he loves. So this book is a whydunit (is that a thing?) rather than a whodunit. Each character in the book is carefully drawn, and each plays a part in the terrible drama that unfolds.
Though When I Am Through With You was not entirely my kind of book, but I remain a loyal Stephanie Kuehn fan.
If you haven’t tried one of her books and want to dip your toe in the water, rather than jump off the cliff into the choppy ocean, try one of her earlier books. I’ve read them all except The Smaller Evil and I’m definitely putting that on the TBR!
Here are links to my Goodreads reviews of three her prior books:
Charm and Strange (2013)
Delicate Monsters (2015)