Calm. Down. Dear.

Fiction - Thriller - Psychological
236 Pages
Reviewed on 03/28/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Calm. Down. Dear. is a work of fiction in the thriller, psychological drama, and suspense genres. It is best suited to adult readers owing to the presence of strong language and scenes of sex and violence. Penned by author Stacy Walsh, the story delves into the life of Sam, who seeks acceptance, love, and commitment. Meeting Casey at Westside State University, Sam believes he's found his ideal partner. However, as the years pass in a world where women hold the power, Sam finds himself chained to an unsafe partner. The narrative explores the dynamics of a society where traditional gender roles are reversed, delving into Sam's struggles as he grapples with his diminishing self-worth and sanity. The book questions the limits of endurance in the face of societal oppression and the toll it takes on an individual's psyche.

Author Stacy Walsh takes on some huge concepts with great success in a gripping and intelligent novel, immersing me in Sam's tumultuous journey. Walsh intricately portrays the shifting power dynamics, building a convincing world where traditional norms are upended by taking familiar tropes and playing on them in reverse. This contextualizes Sam's internal turmoil all the more and the psychological toll of his circumstances is palpable thanks to some very effective narrative and descriptive skill, evoking much empathy and reflection. I also really enjoyed the scene building and descriptions, which added new layers of atmosphere and details to the settings and matched the mood of each scene really well. Walsh's exploration of Sam's descent into madness is haunting, shedding light on the fragility of self-worth amidst oppressive structures. Overall, Calm. Down. Dear. is a compelling commentary on gender, power, and the human psyche, leaving a lasting impression on readers.