(review by Maddie)
Allison Glenn was once Linden Fall’s golden girl in every way. She was perfect daughter, the model student, she had the good looks and good grades with aspirations of college and beyond. All that changed one night when she was sent to prison for five years for an unforgivable crime. Now, she is released on parole and wants to lead a normal life and re-establish her relationship with her younger sister, Brynn. Brynn, on the other hand, has faced the burden of what happened that night for all these years. All she wants to do is bury the past and forget Allison.
This is a very intriguing and absorbing read. Even though Allison committed a crime, I couldn’t help but care for her. We don’t really know what she did in the beginning of the novel but we know it is heinous by the sound of it. However, her character is written so well and with so much care that you cannot help feeling sympathetic about her by the time you find out what she did.
The book is written in alternating viewpoints between the four central characters and it is a style I have come to love as it offers brilliant characterisation. All the central characters are very well drawn out and you can relate to them for their beliefs, faith, their past sufferings and the choices they make because of them.
As the story progresses, the past is revealed at the perfect moment. The suspenseful writing makes it very interesting and I was hooked from the beginning. The writing is also almost lyrical and poignant.
The book deals with a lot of realistic issues about teenage life, sibling relationships, secrets and guilt, and parenting. It also deals with the complex mother-child relationship and how different women react to it. Apart from our parents and upbringing, the choices we make affect our lives. While bad choices may ruin it, good choices might just as well take their toll.
I would highly recommend this book if you want to read about contemporary issues with a blend of suspense/mystery to it.