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The Safe Room by Whitney Zahar

Our Review:

Whitney Zahar’s The Safe Room is a powerful novel that explores difficult and important themes. The story follows Aria, a casual photographer who finds solace in capturing images of abandoned buildings and structures. Her twin sister Tam suffers from mental illness, and finds refuge in her blog called The Safe Room. The book starts with a gripping scene as Aria visits Tam in a mental hospital after she attempted suicide. The tension builds as Aria photographs an abandoned building in Staunton, Virginia, which draws her in with its dark past.

Zahar’s writing is vivid and evocative, capturing the eerie and haunting atmosphere of the abandoned building that Aria photographs and the lingering thoughts it leaves behind in her mind. The use of Tam’s blog snippets at the beginning of each chapter is a clever way to provide insights into her thoughts and life, and provide a stark contrast of her life and the life of her sister.

The Safe Room deals with the difficult and complex themes of mental illness and Eugenics, and the author handles them with sensitivity and nuance. The plot is well-crafted, with an intriguing mystery and bombshell storyline. The more Aria learns about the building and Virginia’s dark past, the more she realizes the impact it has had on her own life and family. The tension builds as Aria becomes more involved in raising awareness.

The characters in the book are well-developed and relatable, making it easy for readers to become emotionally invested in their journey. Aria is a strong and determined protagonist, driven by a desire to understand her sister’s struggles and to uncover the truth about Virginia’s past. Tam is a complex and sympathetic character, whose struggles with mental illness are portrayed with sensitivity and compassion. You can feel the love and understanding Aria has for her sister, but the struggle Tam’s mental health has on her family. The story is a snippet in their life that is fascinating to read.

The portrayal of Eugenics in The Safe Room  is a crucial aspect of the novel that will leave readers with a greater understanding and compassion. Through the perspectives of the two main characters, Tam and Aria, the book provides a sensitive and compelling look into the impact of Eugenics on real people and their families.  By incorporating this topic into the plot, Zahar not only raises awareness but also invites readers to reflect on the importance of reproductive rights and the harm that can be caused when these rights are violated. Overall, the way Eugenics is presented in The Safe Room adds an important layer of depth to the novel, and serves as a poignant reminder of the need to continue conversations about historical injustices and their ongoing effects.

The Safe Room is a gripping and thought-provoking novel that deals with difficult and important themes. Zahar’s writing is engaging and immersive, and the snippet in this families life with stay with the reader long after they’re done. The book is a great read for anyone looking for a mature and nuanced exploration of mental illness and the horrors of Eugenics.

The Safe Room deals with the difficult and complex themes of mental illness and Eugenics, and the author handles them with sensitivity and nuance.”

“Zahar’s writing is vivid and evocative, capturing the eerie and haunting atmosphere of the abandoned building that Aria photographs and the lingering thoughts it leaves behind in her mind.”

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