"To the medical world, I was a host body, surviving only to bring a new life into the world. And while I wanted to die more than anything in the world, I never wanted this. No, I never wanted to cease to exist. This was the worst death of all.”
Jude Black lives in that in-between, twilight place teetering on death but clinging to life in order to bring her baby into this world. Only she knows the circumstances surrounding her mysterious fall off the bluff that landed her in the hospital being kept alive by medical intervention. Only she knows who the father of her baby is. In this poignantly crafted literary novel, the mystery unfolds and the suspense builds as the consequences of Jude’s decisions threaten to reveal everyone's deceptions, even her own. Bluff offers a sensitive look at essential questions such as the value of human life, the consciousness of those in a coma and the morality of terminating life support. At the core is the story of a tragically misunderstood woman who finds peace, acceptance, understanding and even love on her deathbed.
Skomal has written a book that makes you take a step back and ponder different subjects you might not have thought of before. It’s about a woman named Jude who fell off a cliff while pregnant. She ends up being in a vegetative state, but her mind is active so she can hear everyone around her. The doctors and family don’t know what to do. Should they take her off life support? Who should be the one to pull the plug: doctors or family? What about the unborn child? These questions and more come to mind. Secrets are everywhere in this book and Jude hears them all. Not only that, she has secrets of her own. All of the characters aren’t one-dimensional, they are carefully developed. The reader will see other sides and pieces to the puzzle while being around Jude; everything has a meaning.
This book isn’t for the simple-minded and happily-ever-after people, so if you’re into the good-guy-always-wins type please don’t pick up this book. I loved reading about the characters. Who they are, their thoughts, how every person’s secrets affect others, and how that secret ties into the story. Bluff isn’t a book you’ll walk away from and forget. You’ll think about how the book ties into your life, and the question “what would I have done?” The plot isn’t straightforward and easy to pick up on, I believe that’s how the author intended it. Every problem is something that happens in real life and hopefully you will not have to make the same choice to keep or to remove the life support plug. Don’t skip any pages or you’ll miss an important aspect of the plot. I recommend Bluff to those that want to finish a book and be left with deep questions.
*Reviewed by Rachel*
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