Orange Is the New Black meets Walter Dean Myer's Monster in this gritty, twisty, and haunting debut by Tiffany D. Jackson about a girl convicted of murder seeking the truth while surviving life in a group home.
Mary B. Addison killed a baby.
Allegedly. She didn't say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: a white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary, and the jury made it official. But did she do it?
There wasn't a point to setting the record straight before, but now she's got Ted - and their unborn child - to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary's fate now lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her momma. No one knows the real Momma. But does anyone know the real Mary?
©2017 Tiffany D. Jackson (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers
As many others have stated, this story will stay with you for a long time. It is difficult to walk away from it once you start listening to it. However it is so intense. The roller coaster ride of Mary's life is emotional and you have to take a break. The story is extraordinary. The descriptions of the juvenile justice system and places where young convicts live is true to life realistic. Unfortunately some places are worst than described. The brutality among the residents was so vivid. That a little girl was placed in such an environment is tragic. Mary, the main character is a tragic hero. The reader roots for her during most of the story. Mary was extremely bright and worked hard to achieve the goals that she had set for herself. She also knew how to work with others who could help her along the way. It is difficult to determine if Mary is smart enough to be manipulative. The reader hears Mary's version or her interpretation of the events. The narrator was excellent! Absolutely excellent! I love the African American Brooklyn accent, Hispanic Brooklyn accent and the various others. The writing was superb. The story did start to become redundant toward the end. It was also confusing at one point in that Mary and her mother seemed to have switched roles assuming the other's identity. Overall the book is very written. It is a story that should be studied by teachers, social workers, school counselors and anyone looking for employment that includes working with children.
While the narration of the book was excellent; perhaps the best I have heard in an audiobook, I felt strung along when I reached the ending. The author spends so much time developing this character and providing vignettes of who she is and how she reacts in different situations, only to betray us in the end without any explanation.
I started thinking this book was going along adhering to the accepted formula, but it didn't quite do that. On the other hand, the main shift to the ending was done too abruptly, and while it was consistent with the story, it simply just happened, and that was a bit unsatisfying.
Bahni Turpin is a very fine narrator, and is a large part of why the book is a very enjoyable listen. Maybe the narration could have provided the forshadowing that was missing, but I don't think so---it's meant to be a last page reveal.
On the whole, though, pretty darned good!
I was hooked, lined and sunk. I bought it all. Loved the book as it was well written and the narrator was on point as usual. Bahni is the boss. BUT I did yell at the main character a few times because she second guessed every thought until it was detrimental to her cause. Good read/ listen enjoy!
Yes, but with the caution that it is a slow-moving story with a deflating ending
Mary, Momma, and the Latino housemate.
I chose the book because I hear it is being made into a movie and the premise looked interesting. The writing was good and the story was great......all the way up to chapter 18. Maybe they'll rewrite the ending in the movie version.
I was so looking forward to listening to this book and it did not disappoint.
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