Stronger Than Hate by Robert Essig
Francine watches the deal from below, trapped within a sinkhole that opened up in her precious garden. Forty bucks and a quarter bag of weed. How could she be sold off for so little? Familiar faces look down upon her—the worst students she ever had the displeasure of teaching before she retired from the local high school. They snicker as money changes hands. They spit on her. Throw things at her.
And there’s no way in hell they’re going to get help.
But someone else knows about Francine’s predicament. Her neighbor Greg, another former student. The one whose peers called him Lazy Eye. The one who always looked to be accepted even at the expense of Francine’s safety. Does he have it in his heart to do the right thing, to come to his senses and call the police?
At the mercy of deviants, Francine Mosely must harness her inner strength to survive their torments, but how much can she take? Through guidance from the memory of her late husband she banishes herself from what is happening, retreating to her most precious memories, but what happens when the horrors around her infiltrate her mind? How much can she take before breaking down? Is Francine Mosely STRONGER THAN HATE?
It’s been a while since I’ve read human depravity at this level! The story worked – the bully and the bullied, the mentality that allowed this to go on for so long, the drugs, (it had to have the drugs), and how so many kept a secret – it’s all there, showing how this could happen in your neighbor's back yard.