Initial Thoughts: “Courtney Summers’ novels are always hard-hitting, emotionally brutal dives into the harsh realities young women face. I started Sadie expecting nothing less but hoping for a powerful revenge story as well – the type that would fit into my current reading mood. While Sadie does cover yet another darkly emotional aspect of being a woman in a man’s world, it does not quite quench my thirst for violence or provide me satisfaction in wrongs made right. If I were of a more normal mindset, this novel would hit all the right chords. Sadie’s story is powerful and necessary because her childhood experiences at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend happen more often than we would like to acknowledge. Ms. Summers treats the topic with the decency it requires, shedding light on this painful subject without delving into gratuitous details that serve no purpose other than to disgust and sensationalize the truth. Still, I cannot help but feel disappointed upon finishing it because it is not the type of novel that helps me feel better right now. Instead, it reminds me of the work we still need to do to protect our daughters. My reaction is not the fault of the novel or Ms. Summers but purely due to my current emotional and mental state.”
Now: Guys, I feel somewhat guilty that I could not love Sadie more than I did. After all, it is a heartbreaking story that with beautiful writing. The problem is that the story reminds me of the immigrant children ripped from their families by our government. It reminds me of the #metoo movement and what Dr. Ford experienced when she tried to come forward publically with her story of abuse. These reminders hurt and fuel my rage that there are people who believe Dr. Ford lied under oath but Judge Kavanaugh did not, that our government seems to be turning its back on the very tenets of our country and becoming more and more like 1930s Germany than is ever acceptable. I read to escape. I don’t want reminders of the very things I cannot ignore in real life. Everything that happens in Sadie is essential and worthy of so much discussion. It is critical because as the narrator points out in the very beginning, girls run away all the time. Sadie is an attempt to open up the dialogue about why girls run away. I know all this in my mind and admire what Ms. Summers achieves with her story. While I recognize all this, I cannot change how my heart feels when I think about the book. The simple fact is I wanted a story with a lot more justice obtained by the heroine than what I got with an ending that may not be realistic but at least would be satisfying. Sadie is not that novel.
Big hugs. I feel you. I had to take long breaks when reading this book for the same reasons. I thought Summers was incredibly brave for the ending because it isn’t the ending so many of us would have liked.
I love her novels. She always takes the honest ending rather than the idealized ending. It makes them tough reads but very important ones as well. I know I would have loved this one had I been in a better frame of mind to handle it.