The Burning Point is New York Times bestselling author Mary Jo Putney's first contemporary novel, a riveting story of the ties that bind two people together -- and the incendiary forces that can tear them apart.
Katie and Donavan divorced ten years ago. Katie moved away from family and friends to start a new life with no reason as to why to anyone. Patrick "Donavan", her ex husband stayed and continued to work for her father Sam. Sam own and operates a building demolition business. When Sam is killed in an explosion, Katie has to return home for the funeral. During the reading of the will, Katie finds out that her father has never really given up on her and Donavan and in order for her, her brother, and Donavan to inherit, she must live with Donavan for at least one year after Sam's death. Katie complies and they discover that Sam was murdered, not accidentally killed and someone is out to destroy the business.
What follows is described by some as a story of suffering and redemption. What follows is suppose to show love conquers all and forgiveness goes a long way. What follows is suppose to show that as long as you love each other you can overcome.
What is suppose to happen just does not happen for me. The minute the conflict was revealed between the two main characters this book ceased being a romance for me. When it was revealed all i could think about was simply this: no love, no money, nothing should have justified Katie going back into this situation, especially as blindly as she did. This was simply too unbelievable to me and sends a terrible message to the 100000 women out there.
What also didn't work was Donavan's character. I know this is fiction and fiction is suppose to mimic our hopes and dreams. It would be wonderful if men who abuse women would immediately realize that they had a problem when they lose the women they "love". That Donavan did this was totally unbelievable and by shaping his character in such a way, Ms. Putney went a long way in reinforcing the myth's surrounding domestic violence and spousal abuse.
When i finished this book, i desperately read the authors notes to try to find out why Ms. Putney approached this subject so carelessly, so unresearched, so flippantly. I was disappointed.
To her credit Ms. Putneys states that domestic violence is never right, it is wrong. And to her credit, having Katie leave when she realized that her husband was an abuser was right and brave. Having Katie agreeing to go blindly back into this situation reinforces the "give him a second change syndrome". And the main problem with this book was the hero. Ms. Putney's author notes describe him as not a bad man, just someone who was abused himself as a child. She further describes him as having lost the love of his life, Donavan had to come to some hard realizations and take control and come to terms with his problem. Ms. Putney went a long way in trying to sympathize this character and in doing so also went a long way in reinforcing many of the myths surrounding domestic violence.
myth: domestic violence is about loss of control. fact: domestic violence is about control as its most fearsome, and about using fear and physical abuse to control the victim.
I would have respected Ms. Putney more if she had research her subject matter and that it had reflected more responsibly in her book. I do not think anyone exposed to any type of domestic violence situation or anyone that has any knowledge of DV would be able to enjoy this book. This is one subject that should never be romanticized or sympathized in a contemporary setting.
I was disappointed in this book and quite frankly disgusted with the lack of empathy and responsbility this author has shown toward those brave women that have chosen to renew their lives by getting away from these situations. She went a long way toward possibly making them feel guilty for doing so or reinforcing them to stay in such situations.
Ms. Putney is a wonderful author, how could she have been so misguided on this one? I would ask her one question. Is this the kind of message she you wishes to send the 2 out 10 women who will read her book that are currently in DV situations?
It is impossible to review this book without a "spoiler," so if you are still reading, be warned. Well into the story, the reader discovers that the secret in Kate and Donovan's past was that he was physically abusive to her during their marriage.
Now, it is impossible to deal with this issue without controversy, and to have it show up in a romance novel plot is a bit shocking. But I gave this book 5 starts because it dares to raise this issue. Abusive heros are not uncommon in romances - in fact during the early days of romance they seemed the norm - but having a clear contemporary wife-batterer show up as the protagonist makes the issue explicit.
At the heart of these stories is whether the flawed hero can reform. Traditionally, it is the love of the heroine that reforms the hero, which I think is a dangerous message. In this book, though, it is clear that love is not enough. Kate has to leave and Donovan has to face himself before he can change his ways. And he has to do it the hard way, by himself, with no expectation that Kate will ever return. In the end they do get back together (it is a romance, after all), but Donovan's changes are in spite of Kate, not because of her. In the end, I think this is a more positive message than most romances send.
I do agree with the reviewer who wished that Donovan's reform was more explicit - I wished the story had SHOWED his hard work rather than told about it. But I do think that the book did show Kate doing a good job of setting her own boundaries, and is worth the read.
This product's forum
Active discussions in related forums
Search Customer Discussions