ISBN #: 978-0-312-67443-4 (sc)
Page Count: 307
(Taken from back cover)
Lulu and Merry's childhood was never ideal, but on the day before Lulu's tenth birthday it became a nightmare. Mama warns Lulu not to let her father in, but he bullies his way past her. She runs for help, but discovers upon her return that he's murdered her mother, stabbed five-year-old Merry, and tried to kill himself.
Effectively orphaned by their mother's death and father's imprisonment, the girls' relatives abandon them to a terrifying group home. Even as they plot to be taken in by a well-to-do family, they come to learn that all they have to hold on to is each other.
As the sisters spend thirty years trying to make sense of what happened, their jailed father shadows their every choice. One spends her life pretending he's dead, while the other feels compelled to keep him close. Both dread that someday he'll win parole.
This book was provided to me by Kathleen Zrelak at Goldberg McDuffie Communications, Inc. in exchange for an honest review.
I am in love with this cover. The softness of the colors with the two little girls on the boardwalk ... beautiful. I was drawn to this book the moment I saw the cover. You get a sense that good things are inside this book when looking at the cover ... that is, until you read the title ...
There is a lot of drama written in this book mixed with quite a bit of sadness, loneliness and uncertainty. Most books only have one climactic point ... I believe this book has two. The first being the murder of the girls' mother and the second being when the truth is finally revealed.
I felt sorry for Lulu and Merry, but for different reasons.
Poor Lulu, being the oldest, now became Merry's protector. The responsibility and decision-making became hers. As the oldest in my family, I know how it felt to bear that responsibility. There are times when you perform your role even though it may be the last thing you want to do. You are often torn between what you want to do and what you feel would be the responsible path to take. So, I was surprised when Lulu wasn't the one who felt the need to go visit her father regularly. Instead, that sense of responsibility fell to Merry ...
Merry became her father's champion even though she feared him. She handled the stress of visiting him and writing him on a regular basis. For the longest time, she felt like the little girl who was stabbed by her father. Her feelings were evident in her sexual relationships and lack of commitments. How horrible to never feel good enough for a decent relationship with a good person.
This novel is very thought-provoking and impressive for a debut author. I would recommend this to everyone that enjoys a dramatic emotional novel.