Trigger is a disturbing look at child abuse and the toxicity of one family, and how the one person who is supposed to help you can be the one person who you fear the most. The life of our narrator is set up so that when an answer is given, three more questions occur. And yes, there are literally trigger warnings due to the language, violence, and implications some scenes present. And the scary part is some of what N. Griffin writes about is pulled from their own experiences.
Didi’s father wants her to better than she was the day before and wants her to be the best. Coming in second is not an option at school, at chess, at running, or hunting. She cannot be a bother; must do as she is told, and she prays that the “trouble stick” (a rifle hanging on the wall) does not come down to leave its mark on Didi’s legs. Watching her father all the time, wondering when his mood will change, when he will deny food, safety, his “love” Didi tries and survive. She learns to keep her head down, quiet and run. Run as fast as she can. There are few safety zones for her, but she holds onto them as hard as she can. And on the day her father finally realizes that his plans have fallen apart, and he no longer has any “use” for Didi, that is when things turn deadly wrong.
Told in chapters that focus on important times in Didi’s life (from about age five to fifteen), the story flows at a steady pace. They also will have some “flash nows” and an odd “poem” on a few pages. Everything is there for a reason, and the reader should pay attention. The word trigger is the ultimate clue and one that should fill you with dread. With an ending that is both closed and open, one cannot imagine what the next chapter in Didi’s life could have been. I was not “OMG! Best book ever” with Griffin’s novel for at least 13 and up (though younger can read, the concepts might be much for some readers), I am curious enough to want more of Griffin and more of Didi and her story.