When I started this book I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was thinking early on, perhaps this is three stars, maybe four. Then I found that I really enjoyed it. Somehow, Marzano-Lesnevich managed to cross time and place boundaries and tell two stories while still taking the reader on a chronological journey of sorts. I never got lost as she wove the stories together.
She examines the slipperiness of truth and justice. Marzano-Lesnevich struggled with issues that relate to a question I find hard to resolve: how the justice system might represent and support victims of crime in a way that honours their wishes. She explores how someone may not be forgiven for what they have done but they can still be supported by people who have experienced their crime/abuse, even loved. She consistently challenges the idea that people who have experienced crime and abuse can be understood through a black and white lens (e.g. all victims are served best by revenge). I was so angry with her parents and their response to the disclosure of the abuse perpetrated by her grandfather, but near the end of the book she shared with the reader a compassion and sympathy for her mother which was compelling. In her clean and dispassionate writing, Marzano-Lesnevich conveys deep emotion and distress.
This is a book that I will continue to reflect on for a long while.