Review: The Gordian Knot Undone by Valerie Benzley


The Gordian Knot Undone

Valeria Benzley

Publisher: Five Star

Released: March 2014

Length: 236 pages


My mother killed my father. Not only that, she also murdered my stepfather, my grandmother, and my baby brother. There, I’ve said it. Now, what do you think about me? Are you imagining that I must be a damaged, suffering mess of a person? Does it cross your mind that I might be the murderer in the making? Perhaps I’ve turned to prostitution or drugs to ease the pain of my unconventional upbringing.

You’d be wrong on all counts. I’m married to a wonderful man, I have there lovely children, and I work as a kindergarten teacher in our pleasant little town. I’m active in our church and have a wide circle of friends. Of course, none of the people in my life know about my mother. She remains my own private demon, my secret that I choose not to share–with anyone.


I went to the library on Friday after work and this is one of the books I chose to check out in the new release section. I read this book slower than I normally read because there isn’t a lot of action. It’s about a woman named Jess who was tormented by her mother, Dolly her whole life. She knows her mother killed multiple people and she has been trying to get over it. As an adult, Jessie moved on with her life, got married, and birthed 3 little girls. Years later she finds out via mail her mother will be getting out of jail for murder and would need a place to stay. Dolly moves in and Jessie figures out that she is still up to her old ways. Jessie even notices that her older daughter, Amelia is just like Dolly and the drama unfolds to a very unhappy ending.

It is an okay book. If I would have chose another book to check out in its place, I wouldn’t have been upset about it. What I do like is the short chapters. When I am interrupted by other things, the chapters are short enough to read quickly and easy to pick up once I get back to reading. The relationship between Jessie and Dolly does get tiring after a while. Jessie is a very anal person that likes to control everything and she will threaten anyone to get what she wants. What I found really interesting about this book is how the author made Jessie seem normal. She is far from normal! And you begin to see that the more you read.

There is not a real story line. You’re just reading the book to get to the end. There aren’t any questions to be answered. I had to force myself to continue reading. I think the book had a lot of potential, but the author didn’t develop it well. I feel there should have been suspense and mystery. The book is labeled as a psychological suspense novel. I get the psychological part of it because they’re crazy! The suspense, I don’t get. Usually when I read suspense novels, my heart races. I didn’t get that while reading this novel. Concluding, it’s okay if you do read it and it’s okay if you don’t. I’m on the fence.


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