Debut author Kathleen Murray delivers a compelling, realistic portrait of the confusion and pain generated by an imbedded family system of dysfunction thriving during an American period of upheaval, the 1970s. Filled with rich characters and memorable references to a bygone era, the story is presented from the perspective of the central character Sally Smithfield, who lives in perceived safety of Chicago’s North Shore.
Fighting to survive the after-effects of childhood trauma, Sally Smithfield attempts to escape her closed-off world in the arms of her high school’s football star with disastrous results. The reader first meets the protagonist as a young child struggling to reconcile her Catholic grade school’s teachings of God’s love and forgiveness to the daily turbulence of her home. Sally’s unplanned pregnancy shatters her world even as it divides those she loves; eventually changing all their lives forever. The birth of the baby ignites a cascade of events which culminates in the violent death of her boyfriend. Following the conviction of her father for the murder, Sally and her mother flee across the county to build a new life. But their refuge is shattered by the mother’s collapse and the revelation of a final family secret. Sally realizes that she can never truly escape her past. This engaging story of courage and determination follows Sally’s travels from the familiar Chicago northern suburbs across the US to St. Louis, MO and later to Scottsdale, AZ. Thoughtfully written and emotionally complex, Addicted to Love is an intensely moving account concerning family secrets, love, and loss. It appeals to readers who seek a gripping story of forgiveness and redemption.