Fiction - Womens
496 Pages
Reviewed on 01/05/2024
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Author Biography

Remington received her BA in Media Arts from Brooklyn College, where she was a contributing Editor for the school’s newspaper, Vanguard. While attending school in the city, Remington also interned several seasons for aspiring bands in the New York area. Currently, she works remotely for an international cloud storage facility, spending her free time with friends from around the country or simply at home with her cats, Parmesan and Romano.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

Denial by Remington Arquette is a deep, emotional dive into the human psyche exploring mental illness and psychological systems for dealing with grief and trauma. Katherine Baird grew up in an environment where all material wealth and needs were more than met. Her dominating and manipulative father, for whom his daughter was his “little sweetie pie,” was determined to shield the young Katherine from any influences that might corrupt her or threaten her safety. Consequently, Katherine’s childhood was populated by servants, her parents, and just one close friend, Adell. When Katherine was still very young, a traumatic event would change the young girl’s carefree and idyllic lifestyle, not to mention her mental state, forever. Her family embarked on a program of therapy and drugs that would ensure the young girl never had to deal with the pain and grief of her trauma. For Katherine, her first memory was now of her first day at high school and all the previous pain was firmly locked away in her subconscious until she was old enough to deal with it maturely. Her father’s manipulation and schemes would continue to control and determine his daughter’s actions well into adulthood but was the day of reckoning coming? Would those childhood memories remain buried forever?

Denial is one of those books that gently sucks you into what seems like an improbable situation and slowly builds up your understanding and compassion. Author Remington Arquette has done an amazing job of taking an unlikely scenario and creating a plot that twists and turns itself in imaginative ways until the reader has bought into the narrative. I appreciated the subtle plot twists that cast doubt one way or another and opened up speculation in the reader’s mind, especially as it related to the nature of the trauma and how it occurred. The characters are deliberately overdrawn, which allows the reader to accept some of the unusualness of the scenarios depicted. I particularly appreciated the nature of the father and his almost dual personality, especially when it came to protecting his precious “little sweetie pie.” All the characters play a crucial role in Katherine’s development and her coming to terms with the past that has plagued her entire life. The author has done a tremendous job in managing to mesh all these disparate characters with their agendas into such a readable and fascinating storyline. I particularly appreciated that although everyone involved in Katherine’s life and her rehabilitation as a functioning adult was so different and approached the task from differing perspectives, all were ultimately interested in and concerned with Katherine’s wellbeing. The use of different perspectives in the writing also gave the narrative much-needed depth and breadth, which adds to the reading pleasure and identification with the story. This is an easy-to-read enjoyable novel that I can highly recommend.

K.C. Finn

Denial is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama, emotional writing, and women’s fiction subgenres. It is best suited to mature adult readers for its dark themes and potentially triggering topics such as child abuse and incest. Penned by author Remington Arquette, this harrowing work explores the toxic legacy of the Baird family in the Appalachian aristocracy. Readers are invited to delve into the lineage of a man whose unrestrained greed and destructiveness wreak havoc on those around him. The narrative unearths a cultural history that traces back through generations, highlighting the consequences of a mindset where women were treated as property and ego-driven laws prevailed. The novel exposes the emotional turmoil endured by these women and the cunning moves orchestrated by Cybil to alter their fate. The narrative cleverly explores the repercussions of long-ago events, creating a tapestry of drama and lethal disturbances.

Author Remington Arquette has crafted a truly gripping reading experience as we explore the lives of heiress Katherine Baird and her mother Cybil, scarred by the patriarch Leonard Baird. The character portrayal and viewpoint are tenderly penned with a great deal of empathy and sensitivity, but the novel is also not afraid to push the boundaries by exposing the shocking realities of abuse and its everlasting repercussions. Arquette's storytelling captivates from the first moment of his intricate narrative techniques, unraveling a tale that not only subjects the blameworthy Baird to society's judgment but also forces him to confront his conscience. I found the dialogue especially compelling and useful in moving the story forward without the need for huge chunks of prose, which keeps you in the moment with the characters and their emotions. Overall, I would certainly recommend Denial for its compelling exploration of generational trauma, societal change, and the complexities of justice. A read well worth your time that will leave you with much to think about.

Stephanie Chapman

Remington Arquette’s Denial follows Katherine Baird’s journey to healing from the trauma inflicted on her as a child when, at a very young age, she suffered a mental break resulting from a traumatic and life-altering event. Katherine dreams of the perfect family; a wonderful husband and a little girl often appear in her thoughts. Her parents, Leonard and Cybil, fulfill Katherine’s wants and needs. She was the lead accounting officer at D&B when she met Brett Matters. He was reviewing the records for D&B to make sure they were up to code. Meanwhile, Katherine has convinced herself that Brett is her fiancé and told her friends and family stories about their relationship. After Leonard warns Brett to leave his daughter alone, he forces Katherine to marry Drake. One evening, Brett receives a call from the Baird residence. Katherine is in a catatonic state, and they require his help.

Remington Arquette addresses the dark history of the Baird family using several supporting characters in Katherine’s life. Leonard’s connections with rumored disappearances make Teresa and Dr. Petrice cross ethical boundaries by focusing solely on Katherine. The elaborate fantasy world Katherine creates in her mind is vivid. Her actions reinforce how much she believes in her narrative. I felt empathy for Brett. He has no idea about Katherine’s mental health and doubts his worth. The plot is unpredictable as Katherine’s recollection of pieces of her past enters her thoughts. The focus on accepting responsibility for your actions and how they affect others becomes an underlying message. The suspense builds intensity and I couldn't put the book down. Readers who are interested in psychology and healing from trauma will enjoy Denial.

Amy Raines

In Denial by Remington Arquette, Katherine Baird suffered a nervous breakdown that sent her into a degenerative catatonic state. Katherine’s mother, Cybil, was heartbroken over her daughter’s condition as well as the problems that first brought it on. Katherine’s father, Leonard, was cold and indifferent to the situation and the emotional state of his wife and daughter. With this rare illness affecting the Baird family, the doctor recommended keeping their lives nearly scripted so that Katherine would endure as little stress as possible. Over the years, Katherine dealt with several issues due to her father’s influence, including a marriage she didn’t want and loving the man she truly wanted to be with in silence. If she dared to speak up, what lengths would her father go to hurt the man she loved or make their lives miserable? Will Katherine ever find a way to be free of her father’s grasp, or will she forever be nothing more than another pawn for him to play with and keep in line?

Denial is a wonderful story that kept my heart caught up in the turmoil that Katherine faced on a daily basis. I enjoyed the dynamic of an emotionally tortured and broken love triangle that kept me wondering what would happen next. I am always a fan of the best friends that should be lovers kind of romance. I absolutely loved the characters. They lead you into the plot and have the perfect personality quirks and ideas that deepen the story without making it feel overdone or overwhelming. This story gave me that and so much more. I recommend Denial by Remington Arquette to readers who enjoy a story that they can easily get immersed in.

Cecelia Hopkins

Denial by Remington Arquette starts with Katherine experiencing a catatonic episode. Her father, Leonard Baird, agrees to an unusual course of treatment, and her mother, Cybil, reluctantly agrees. A recovering Katherine grows up in a cosseted environment, taking wealth and privilege for granted. She is bored and seeks amusement reading agony vlogs and fantasizing about a perfect daughter and loving husband. A workplace romance with Brett Matters flounders as her parents insist Katherine marries a family friend, Drake Davenport. As she struggles with the physical side of her marriage, her psychosomatic symptoms recur. Will Katherine cope with discovering the truth?

Denial by Remington Arquette has all the elements of melodrama and reads like a thriller. Due to parental manipulation, Katherine’s point of view is unreliable and her narrative testimony creates suspense. I was eager to find out what happened and longed to understand the traumatic incident that blighted her psyche. The author skillfully withheld family secrets until the final chapters and orchestrated a climactic unveiling. I liked Brett and felt he made an appealing hero. His pragmatic point of view perfectly balanced Katherine’s extravagant sensibilities. I applauded his decision to find a practical line of work rather than get involved in corruption. While he appeared to go along with the system, I was assured his choices stemmed from affection, making him sensitive rather than weak. I liked how the plot was wrapped up at the end, giving a sense of closure and tying up all loose ends. Denial by Remington Arquette combines psychology and crime in a dramatic format suited to the mature and discerning reader.

Thomas Zieman

An emotional read.