I was recently provided a complimentary copy of Warm Transfer by Laura Holtz. This is my honest review of the novel. All opinions are my own.
Tamsen Peel is the main character in this novel, which is set in an affluent Chicago neighborhood. They live on Astor Street in an elegant brownstone just two blocks from Lake Shore Drive and all of the cultural amenities the Windy City has to offer. She leads the ‘perfect’ life as far as her social circle is aware…handsome, successful husband, beautiful home, two children…she’s got it all.
What people don’t see is the turmoil in her marriage and relationship with her husband. He is controlling and abusive, so Tamsen walks a fine line in every communication and interaction, choosing her actions and words ever so carefully in order to keep things calm and not set him off.
They are in the midst of a trial separation as the story unfolds, taking turns staying in their home to care for the children. It becomes quickly evident that Tamsen does not want the marriage to continue, while her husband, Victor, assumes that they will get past this temporary ‘situation’ and life will return to normal.
We see the world through Tamsen’s eyes as she struggles to come to terms with her abusive relationship, the self-esteem issues that have kept her feeling trapped within it, decisions she makes as she works through those issues, including a relationship with her son’s guitar teacher, and finally, her ability to move forward with her life.
Over 10 million women and men are victims of intimate partner violence in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What did I think of Warm Transfer by Laura Holtz?
Ultimately, I think this is a very good read, although it is the type of book that requires your full attention. If you skim through the pages or read with half of your attention elsewhere, you’ll miss the details and nuances of the author’s style that make the characters come to life.
I often re-read some pages or paragraphs, to make sure I understood and absorbed the intention and how it applied to that particular part of the story.
I found myself rooting for Tamsen Peel, even though I didn’t always agree with her decisions or actions. I was thrilled when she finally came into her own as a person, seeing her worth and value as an individual, a parent and a contributor to society.
For anyone who has suffered through an abusive relationship, this novel will be a source of encouragement. Even though it is a work of fiction, the characters in the book could be anyone, on any street, in any neighborhood, in any city.
Warm Transfer is a novel that shows us that outward appearances are not always as they seem. People portray an image of what they want their friends, business associates and relatives to see, but in truth they may be living a nightmare. We have seen that all too often in real life.
But this is also a story of bravery, determination, intelligence and resilience, as the main character steps outside of her comfort zone, her safety net, and everything she has been a part of for over twenty years, ultimately forging a new, safe life for herself and her children.
Ten percent of the profits from Warm Transfer are being donated by Ms. Holtz to The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).