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Beautiful Sorrow by DreamOfTheEndless

Beautiful Sorrow by DreamOfTheEndless

Bella is a mess. Her life is a mess. At 22 years old, she's a recovering alcoholic, a recovering anorexic, she has almost 24-hour care and a shrink who comes to her house twice a week for therapy. Her abusive husband (Carlisle) barely speaks to her and she can hardly muster the energy to speak to anyone else, including her therapists.

If you like character development and tense, anticipatory build-up, this story is for you. We see snippets of Bella's life "today" - her nutritionist bargaining with her like a child to eat her meals ("If you can tell me the secret ingredient, I'll leave you alone at lunch") an uncomfortable birthday phone call with her parents in which Bella tries to remember the lies she told about her last birthday.  The worst for me was the midnight inspection by her husband.  It happens at the end of the very first chapter and really sets the tone for the rest of the story.

She woke up in her bed later that night with a distinct feeling that she was no longer alone. She could sense the presence of her husband sitting across the room, watching her from his usual spot. [...] She trembled in fear, her heart threatening to beat out of her chest. She clenched her eyes shut. Maybe she was only imagining his presence. Maybe it was only a nightmare.

"I know you're awake, Isabella." [... his eyes] were dead; completely devoid of any hint of life or hope. They didn't even show any glimmer of anger or rage. Just hard, cold nothingness.

I did this to him. I made hiim this way. I deserve all the sufferings in the world.

As he requires, Bella then gets out of bed, moves to the center of the room and strips. She stands before her husband, naked, embarrassed, afraid, and, despite his presence, alone. He hasn't visited her in her room in months so she has no idea whether this night will be one of physical or emotional abuse.  Turns out, that night it's psychological.

After that, the author spends quite a bit of time going back in time and showing how Bella and Carlisle met. Back when he had at least the appearance of being a good man and before the mistake she made that brought them to where they are today. I'm not going to share the few details with you that I know about the mistake, but I will say that it involves Edward. Truly though, the details are sparse. With as little as Bella interacts with anyone, she's mainly in her head, remembering better times and trying to escape, since a physical escape is impossible.

Though I don't have first-hand experience with either alcoholism or anorexia, DreamOfTheEndless seems to handle both difficult subjects with maturity and grace. Neither is glamorized, nor are they vilified.  The author recognizes the shades of grey in life, though not all of her characters (*ahem* Carlisle) do. You can't help but sympathize with Bella even though she certainly deserves to feel every ounce of guilt coursing through her system.  If you're looking for hard-hitting angst and a well-told story, look no farther.

Thanks for reading!
@TwiFicDataBase staff 


Go read. NOW.
lovely review.

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