My Amazon review of Sick, a Novella by Christa Wojciechowski

Sick, as the title suggests, is a disturbing read

A great suspense-thriller! Highly recommended By EO on May 24, 2016

Sick, a Novella, as the title suggests, is a disturbing book. Suze is a long-suffering wife who cares for her mysteriously ailing husband, John. The reader can only feel sorry for Suze when she says, “I entered the dark cell of our bedroom, a messy den where we were forced to share our matrimonial bedroom with illness and pain.” But the reader also feels sorry for John because he is the one in constant pain, so much so that Suze is forced to steal Demerol for him from the clinic where she works.

With John it’s always something, a bacterial infection, a ruptured spleen, bruises in various stages – black, purple, blue, green, and yellow and more. There is no break in the story from all his troubles, it’s one thing after another and no doctor can figure it out.

But the novel is not just about sickness, its focus is on an exploration of the psychology between two people and how their lives become inter-dependent. John is very ill but he is also manipulative and uses his illness to control Suze, who will do anything to soothe his aches and pains. And there is no end to her grief, “I broke down and wept all the way to the hospital, emotionally replete and beyond self-consciousness.” The more Suze worries, the more control John has over her.

However, things start to unravel when Suze finds a hammer beneath the bed, auto coolant with a broken seal, and a syringe filled with a strange substance. It is at this point that everything comes to a dramatic end. As Suze finally figures things out, John confesses, and gleefully at that, “Yes! Yes. You got it… You’ve finally figured it out.”

But their journey doesn’t end there or does it? Will Suze feel compelled to continue looking after John now that he is maybe even sicker than before? Will we find out in a sequel? Looking forward to it!

Christa Wojciechowski’s prose is compelling and unadorned, and she effortlessly breaths life into her characters. A great suspense-thriller! Highly recommended.


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I am an author/translator. Alaska or Bust and Other Stories (Crimson Cloak Publishing) is available on Amazon and other places. The stories are set off the beaten path, some funny some serious, where the land is raw and beautiful and the people a bit quirky. My translation of Wave of Terror by Theodore Odrach (about Stalinist domination at the start of WWII) is available most places online. (Chicago Review Press). Publishers Weekly: "Odrach's delightfully sardonic novel about Stalinist occupation ... is rich with history, horror and comedy."

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