So My Sister Wrote a Book
By Franci Hart
“The Other Victims”
by Patsy King Hosman
My sister Patsy wrote a book. Gasp! And she asked me to read it. Double gasp!!!!I gritted my teeth and prepared all my nice critical words, like cute and sweet, that I reserve for reviews of mediocre works. I had to be nice. Afterall, she spent five years researching and writing this novel. I had to be kind.
And I was blown away! I was totally wrong. I could not put the book down; the story was so compelling!
“The Other Victims” is a fast paced, well-constructed book about a topic that needs to be addressed. Its characters are clearly drawn, location well set, and most of all, it is a great story. The characters, many facing outright hatred, are realistic, ones the reader can relate to and appreciate their dilemma.
“The Other Victims” opens by taking the reader into the mind of a clearly mentally ill women. The reader is exposed to her pain, confusion and most of all paranoia. Then she gets a gun!
The rest of the book is about the consequences of this woman’s mass shooting, which takes place during a music festival in a small Oklahoma college town. The reader learns how, though innocent of any action taken by the now dead shooter, her family is ostracized. Even the families of the shooting victims are shunned, as if their grief and tragedy were like a contagious disease, catching. While I will not spoil the ending, rest assured it is most satisfying.
Patsy Hosman reached out to families of shooting victims as well as family members of the perpetuators for inspiration. She also explores the mental health system and the problems related to not recognizing mental illness and treating it. Although an uncomfortable issue, the author treats mental health and its effects on families with compassion and empathy.
“The Other Victims” is a perfect book with which to begin 2024. I am actually reading it again.