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As a teenager, Toni Murphy had a life full of typical adolescent
complications: a boyfriend she adored, a younger sister she couldn’t relate to, a strained relationship with her parents, and classmates who seemed hell-bent on making her life miserable. Things weren’t easy, but Toni could never have predicted how horrific they would become until her younger sister was brutally murdered one summer night.
Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were convicted of the murder and sent to prison.
Now thirty-four, Toni is out on parole and back in her hometown, struggling to adjust to a new life on the outside. Prison changed her, hardened her, and she’s doing everything in her power to avoid violating her parole and going back. This means having absolutely no contact with Ryan, avoiding fellow parolees looking to pick fights, and steering clear of trouble in all its forms. But nothing is making that easy—not Ryan, who is convinced he can figure out the truth; not her mother, who doubts Toni’s innocence; and certainly not the group of women who made Toni’s life hell in high school and may have darker secrets than anyone realizes. No matter how hard she tries, ignoring her old life to start a new one is impossible. Before Toni can truly move on, she must risk everything to find out what really happened that night.
But the truth might be the most terrifying thing of all.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this book a lot. There were a few times when the writing felt a little stiff and formal, but the depth of the characters and the ability of the author to show us the past and the present without it becoming confusing was very good and made up for the minor quirks here and there.
For me, the most fascinating part of this book were the portions where prison life was discussed. The detail the author included kept me interested in the life of the main character and wondering what would happen next. Rather than having a main character that spent a lot of time feeling sorry for herself and the wrongs that were done to her, she was proactive and witty and I was happy to support her.
The plot of this novel is complex and keeps you guessing about what really happened many years ago, until the very end. I like mysteries as much as the next person, but it was the human element of this story that made me love it. I felt close to the characters and that feeling grew as the story progressed. There are a lot of mysteries out there, but this one is told in such a way that you feel you are there, going through the same things as the characters.
If you like books that will stay with you when you are finished reading them, then this would be a good one to choose. Beautiful writing, haunting story, recommended.
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own.