Sunday, October 28, 2012

TAG TEAM: BOOK REVIEW "Undeniable" by Madeline Sheehan

The story of Deuce and Eva...

An undeniable connection that stands the test of time.
Unforgettable moments.
Love and pain and everything in between.

I was five years old when I met Deuce, he was twenty-three, and it was visiting day at Riker's Island. My father, Damon Fox or "Preacher", the President of the infamous "Silver Demon's" motorcycle club -mother chapter- in East Village, New York City, was doing a five-year stint for aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon. It was not the first time my father had been in prison and it wouldn't be the last. The Silver Demon's MC was a notorious group of criminals who lived by the code of the road and gave modern society and all it entailed a great big f**k you.

"Never forget the day Eva came bouncin' into my f**ked up life, shakin' pigtails, singin' Janis, wearin’ chucks and sharin' peanuts and straight up stole any decency I had left which wasn't a whole lot but she f**kin' took it and I've been hers ever since."


Q: Did you like this book?  If so, what did you like best?
Sunny:  If I had to give it a star rating, I'd give it a 3 out of 5. Not because it was a mediocre book, but rather because I felt so ambivalent about it. There were parts that I loved and parts that absolutely hated. Parts I like best included: Every scene when Eva and Deuce are together. These are not always happy encounters, but their relationship is passionate.
Susan:  I loved it! I’ve said this before, but I’m certain it’s because I’m a huge Sons of Anarchy fan and this fit right in.  I loved Deuce & Eva. I hurt for them…I wanted them to have an HEA so badly.  It was hard-earned and brutal, but I’m feeling it was worth it for them.

Q: How would you characterize Eva?

Sunny:  Not perfect, but redeemed. The 5 year old Eva is so innocent and pure, a ray of sunshine to everyone she meets. She maintains that even through most of her adult life. She is the beacon of love and support not only for Deuce, but also her father, Preacher, Frankie and all the other members of the MC. Then she goes off the deep end....this self-hating behavior with Chase. It is difficult to read because it is so far from who she was ... all of her pent of up anger and disappointment.

Susan:  She is the epitome of your environment determining who you become. She was born to be an MC brat and eventually a Queen. It was a given. As pure as she was growing up, this was inevitable. I felt so hurt for her. I think some people think she made bad choice…I don’t know that she even had a choice.  I think her only choice was Deuce.

Q: This book is getting great reviews overall, but also some criticism for being “raw”.  Did you find any problems with the story?

Sunny:  SPOILER   

I became completely enraged by Eva's response to Frankie's sexual assault. 

"God, it was all my fault.... I loved him like a best friend or brother, and not at all like a lover. But he'd forced his way into the lover category and there was nothing I could do; he needed me, he wasn't going to let me go, so I gave him what he needed and tried to make the best of it?"

I could hear every rape survivor, counselor, and concerned female and male gasping at this comment. This is raw and so problematic. Based on who she was at the time, having spent time in college outside of the MC, experiencing her own life, I can't say she didn't have any other alternatives than to stay with Frankie.

Susan:  Yes, this is gritty. I hear people compare this to Kristen Ashley books, but I think this is much edgier, harder, angrier…more real.  There is non-con, obsession, murder, brutality, infidelity, promiscuity…and it’s difficult to read at times.

Q: Why do you think books like this and shows like Sons of Anarchy are so popular?

Sunny:  I think it is escapist fare. We can suspend our moral judgments for a few hours to see what it might be like to live another life. However, disturbingly, a question kept popping up in the back of my mind. Why do we love motorcycle gangs? In this story, the Silver Demons and the Horsemen are gangs engaged in criminal endeavors - drug dealing, gun running, money laundering, etc. They whore around, are extremely violent, and mark their territory. Why do we romanticize these motorcycle gangs and not other gangs? What would happen to the story if we changed out the motorcycle gangs for the Crips? The 18th Street gang? Would we still be romanticizing the story? The question left me troubled.

Perhaps it is the sign of a good book when it raises questions, evokes strong emotions, and has us all talking about it.

Susan:  I agree with you, Sunny. It is unfamiliar ground for many of us.  MC’s live by their own rules/laws.  But what makes this even more fascinating is that it really happens.  These MC’s actually exist.  And I think getting a glimpse into a different “culture” is what makes it too good to look away.  Would I want to immerse myself, date a biker, be a club-whore.  Of course not.  But, it does pique my curiosity…

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