“Grace Bradshaw, Lakeland State Penitentiary, Death Row. It’s how my mail- mostly legal correspondence from my in-and-out state-appointed attorneys- had been addressed for the past seventeen years.”
Sophie has built a seemingly beautiful, fruitful life for herself with successful husband Thomas, of the ‘attractive hands’ that according to other women in her social circle ‘were created to do fine things.’ Thomas doesn’t know the truth about Sophie’s past, or her mother’s horrific crime. Having reinvented herself, to escape her painful family tragedy she has buried the loss of her baby brother and death row inmate mother convicted of murdering him. When Thomas, a prominent plastic surgeon, makes a mistake that costs a child and her family dearly, Sophie’s hidden life will come to the surface and have to be faced.
Through Grace’s journals the reader is privy to events that led up to the death of baby William and with Sophie’s mother’s execution biting her heels, stepping back into her past and searching for proof of what happened will make her decide whether her mother is truly evil or should be saved. Her fond memories of a loving mother don’t seem to match up with a child killer, and there could be something that connects the two medically.
Returning to the hometown she abandoned may cost her the privileged life she created, and all her inventions may be her undoing. This is more than a mother/daughter story, it reminds me of legal novels in the vein of Jodi Picoult. The ending left my heart drenched, but it was honest. This would be a good book club selection.
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
Penguin Group Putnam
G.P. Putnam’s Sons