The story that this book tells is not only the events that gripped a nation, it is the events that preceded and then followed one of new Zealand's most famous crimes and court cases... Through the eyes of Simonne Butler.
It was the crime that saw Simonne and Renee violently attacked with a Samurai sword by Antoine (Tony) Dixon while high on Methamphetamine in 2003. It was a crime that brought P use to light, it was a crime that stuck in my head for a very long time.
I had been hanging out for this book, since I first saw it posted up on the Publisher (Mary Eagan Publishing's) Facebook page, and to meet Simonne in person was amazing, even though I became weirdy shy... I made my friend Sophia from Mary Egan Publishing introduce us at the book launch.
It is the first book that I have read since Scarlett was born, nearly 5 years ago! I have always been a reader, but since having kids books became less of a priority... I read less and watched 'Keeping up with the Kardashians' and played on Facebook more. I am now on a mission to gain back the 10 IQ points that 'Candy Crush' stole from me!
I have managed to put my phone and Facebook down and read, and it has been amazing.
The thing that most surprised me about this book before I even read it was some of the impressions that people had of Simonne, people asked the question "Was she weak?", "Why didn't she get away earlier?" These were all legitimate questions I suppose. But after reading the book you can hopefully understand.
I have friends and family that have been the victims of manipulation, sexual assault, psychological abuse and domestic violence. In fact after thinking for only 5 minutes I could gather a list as long as my arm of people who are in my life now or in my past that have had their lives impacted by these things either as a child or as an adult... and they are NOT weak women.
Simonne explains it well in the book how as women we gravitate towards helping and being nurturers, so it makes sense that we would not want to give up on someone that needs our help. In fact I have to say that those people that have suffered at the hands of another are the most kind and nurturing people I know.
You may want to yell at the book while you read the "courting" phase (when Simonne and Tony ride the wave of f****d up romance during the first 100 pages). You may feel feel frustrated at the prospect of her future with this man.
You may well want to travel back to the past and encourage her to "LEAVE LEAVE LEAVE!!!"
When page 100 hits, it kicks up gear... Like she skipped 3rd and 4th and went straight into 5th!
And the closer it gets to "the event" the more intense it becomes.
It is engaging and real, and at sometimes more intense than you can handle.
You are inside her head for the ride, and that ride is a train ride where you can see the derailment approaching.
It's like reading a train crash that is going slow, so slow you are sure she would jump off it... she could see the bends in the track, she saw the crazy driver... The outcome approaching.
There was so many opportunities to get off the train... and sometimes she did. She would walk parallel to the track and eventually she would get back on again.
This is an important book. It is a book that delves not only into a piece of NZ history but also into a young woman's life who just couldn't get off the train.
I need people to know that this book is important, that it is worth reading. It is helping people to open up about domestic violence in NZ.
It is truly powerful.
I am forever amazed at this woman's strength, what she has overcome with her humanity and love for others still intact.
Double-Edged Sword is available in many bookstores and from www.simonnebutler.co.nz