ISBN #: 978-1-59315-625-1
Page Count: 254
(Taken from dust jacket flaps)
Ten years ago, a pregnant seventeen-year-old, Angela Joy Palladino fled her hometown, Scotia, West Virginia, as a pariah. Over time, AJ succeeded in establishing herself as an environmental activist, dubbed "The People's Champion," only to be forced to retreat from the spotlight in the wake of a crushing media disaster.
When AJ is offered a job with a lawyer who is crusading against mountaintop removal mining, she is torn. As a single mother of a special needs nine-year-old boy, AJ can use any work she can get. But doing so will mean returning to the West Virginia hometown she left in disgrace so long ago.
Upon arriving in Scotia, AJ learns of the sudden death of the lawyer who hired her. Soon after joining forces with his daughter, Elizabeth, threats begin to surface, bodies begin to pile up, and AJ discovers that her own secrets aren't the only ones her mountain hometown has kept buried. Hitting rock bottom, AJ must face the betrayal of those once closest to her and confront the harrowing past she thought she had left behind.
I've always like dark, thunderous skies, so I was drawn to this cover by that alone. The lady on the cover could be a representation of AJ, the main character, or the author herself ... it's up to you to interpret it. =)
AJ is a single mother who has had to learn the hard way how to take care of her son. She doesn't even have the help of her family ... whether it's emotional, financial, physical, etc. She is a woman on her own. Her son's father, Cole, hasn't been around since David's birth. Is this by choice? By circumstance?
Speaking of circumstances, they lead AJ back to her hometown, a place she hasn't visited in ten years. She's determined that David become united with his father and she, AJ, is determined to change things between her parents and herself. However, her parents seem to be as unresponsive and dismissive as ever. Will they ever come around? What caused them to be this way? How could parents ignore their very own daughter like she's not of their own flesh and blood?
While deciding whether or not to stay in Scotia permanently, AJ lands a job that puts her, her son and her long lost love in danger. With a renewed determination to set things right for her son's sake, AJ takes on the biggest, baddest man in town ... with the help of her new boss.
Full of twists, turns, discoveries, disappointments, regrets, hope, friendship and more, this book is a powerful story of one woman's fight to create a safer world for, not only her son, but for everybody in her hometown.
Despite the ending, which I understood but did not like (it disappointed me as a person, not a reader), this is a pretty great book. Well-written, engaging and fast-paced, I would be willing to read this book again. I'm also interested in what's going to happen next for AJ and David.
This book would be a great recommendation for those who enjoy stories where good triumphs evil, mysteries and stories with not-so-happy, but realistic, endings. =)