damage caitlin wahrer
Book Review / Caitlin Wahrer / Reviews with Spoilers

Caitlin Wahrer | The Damage

damage caitlin wahrer

The Book: 

The Damage by Caitlin Wahrer
Published June 15th 2021 by Pamela Dorman Books
Date read: August 6, 2021

The Characters: 

Tony and Julia
Tony’s brother Nick

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Buy it on Bookshop.org | Amazon


The Plot (from Goodreads):

Tony has always looked out for his younger brother, Nick. So when he’s called to a hospital bed where Nick is lying battered and bruised after a violent sexual assault, his protective instincts flare, and a white-hot rage begins to build.

As a small-town New England lawyer, Tony’s wife, Julia, has cases involving kids all the time. When Detective Rice gets assigned to this one, Julia feels they’re in good hands. Especially because she senses that Rice, too, understands how things can quickly get complicated. Very complicated.

After all, one moment Nick was having a drink with a handsome stranger; the next, he was at the center of an investigation threatening to tear not only him, but his entire family, apart. And now his attacker, out on bail, is disputing Nick’s version of what happened.

As Julia tries to help her brother-in-law, she sees Tony’s desire for revenge, to fix things for Nick, getting out of control. Tony is starting to scare her. And before long, she finds herself asking: does she really know what her husband is capable of? Or of what she herself is?

Click here for book spoilers for The Damage
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Damage, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist

Julia had helped Ray escape in order to protect her family. She knew Tony was going to kill him to prevent Nick from having to testify, and she knew that he’d immediately be caught and go to jail if so. She arranged for fake IDs and passports to get Ray out of Maine.

Rice knew what she had done. He never turned her in.

The Ending:

Julia’s friend Elissa had picked Ray up at the bus station in Toledo. She was supposed to give him a fake passport to get him out of the country, but it is implied that she killed him.

The Review: 

Before I begin, I do need to note that this story revolves around Nick’s sexual assault and how his family deals with the aftermath of this crime. If this premise is triggering to you, I would skip this review and this book.

That said, I loved this book. I thought the author did an incredible job of telling this story in a tasteful manner. She successfully brings awareness to a group of victims that aren’t often acknowledged, while simultaneously telling an engaging, interesting story.

These characters were so flawed and real. I found many of them easy to relate to in some way, despite some questionable decisions made in the name of protecting their families. I especially loved the relationship between Tony and Nick, and how Tony would do anything to protect Nick (sometimes to Nick’s annoyance). Their bond was one of my favorite parts of this book.

Overall, The Damage is intriguing, raw, and heartfelt. I really enjoyed this book and would certainly recommend you add it to your shelves.

A funny aside: Julia drove a red Subaru Baja, which was my first car. The author kept calling it unforgivably ugly! I’m offended, I loved my Baja so much. I still miss it.

damage caitlin wahrer
damage caitlin wahrer

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