A bad habit of mine is jumping in to a new series in the midpoint. While it often offers fresh insight into the story, there is always a bit of ‘catch up for context’ that requires some researching. And The Recovery proved to require a bit more background than I initially expected when I was offered the title for review.
Essentially, the Program is an attempt at suicide prevention through drastic and dramatic means: using some manipulation and later memory erasure (via a lobotomy-like procedure) to stem the epidemic of suicide. A taste of the apocalyptic feel here, this story is more a quest for redemption and guilt letting by a major manipulator in the treatment program, Realm.
Told in third person, Realm is touching base with former ‘patients’ of the Program, his guilt over his manipulations and his realization that his work robbed so many of so much, he’s touching base with many of the characters from the story. While he isn’t overtly asking for forgiveness, this is, not unlike one of the 12 steps, his accepting responsibility and making amends. Forgiveness from those he has wronged is not a deal-breaker, he needs this journey more for himself.
Along with another former patient, James, Realm’s story is tragic and heavy: if you were a fan of the earlier stories, this gives more of his own personal journey and character, and you can feel the guilt that weighs him down. While much of the interest for me came from Realm’s own personal realizations, it was interesting to see just how others reacted to him, and the development of a more honest friendship with James. A bit on the short side, this truly is one of those ‘background’ moments that fills out a character that needed more depth.
Narration in this story is provided capably and competently by Kirby Heyborne. His delivery feels appropriate for the tone of the story, and his ability to carry the weight of the secrets he holds with nuanced inflections of emotion and delivery work perfectly for this story. Small distinctions that impact the listen such as tone, pacing and delivery are well utilized to keep the reader engaged and understanding the emotional overlay of the events as they happen.
Best suited to readers who enjoyed the earlier books in this series, I’ve picked up the two full length novels to read and am curious about the upcoming installment.
Stars: Overall: 3 Narration: 4 Story 3
Title: The Recovery
Author: Suzanne Young
Series: The Program #2.5
Genre: Coming of Age
Narrator: Kirby Heyborne
Published by: SimonandSchuster.com/Audio, Simon Pulse
Published on: 24 February, 2015
Source: Simon and Schuster Audio
Audio Length: 1 Hour: 45 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google
Six months after the fall of The Program, ex-handler Michael Realm is struggling with his guilt. After all, he was instrumental in erasing the memories of several patients—including one he claimed to love. With a lifetime of regret stretched before him, Realm vows to set things right.
Along with his friend, James Murphy, Realm will track down those he’s hurt in an attempt to give them back their lives—starting with Dallas Stone. He’s not looking for forgiveness or redemption; he’s not a hero. But Realm hopes that with each recovered past, he’ll be able to reclaim a small bit of his own.
See The Program Series on GoodReads
A copy of this title was provided via Simon and Schuster Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.