Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Allegedly ~ Tiffany D Jackson review [@Writeinbk @epicreads @KatherineTegen]

Katherine Tegen Books
January 24, 2017
400 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

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 church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.

Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.

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 must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness alive in all of us.
If you want a calm, reassuring, predictable read, Allegedly isn't what you're looking for. If, however, you are (and why wouldn't you be) looking for a book whose main character and story will take you on a bit of a roller coaster ride, give you unforgettable characters and is going to be running through your mind long after you finish it, you need to read Allegedly.

As much as I have enjoyed reviewing some books I didn't previously know about (here and here), I was so excited to receive Allegedly; this is one' I've really wanted to read for a while. I figured from both the description and the title that this wasn't going to be a book with clear answers, with black and white right and wrong. I had no idea, though, how true that was.

The characters in this book really keep you guessing. Sometimes you think you know them, know what they're about or what they're capable of . . .but very rarely are you actually correct. The girls in the group home, the adults in charge of the different aspects of Mary's life, her mother, Ted, and Mary are all really complex, well written and real people. They have their pasts, how that's affected them, how they're trying to live their lives now - and whether those intentions seems to matter (for the good or the bad).

These aren't characters you find in a lot of books, aren't people you often see represented but the author does a great job making them someone you can relate to while (with many of them) making them really intimidating or frightening, too.

There were points when I thought I had something figured out and, sometimes, I was even right but those things that I thought were going to be 'big' things ended up barely playing a role in what happened.

Mary, her story, her past, her present, her hopes for the future and everything and everyone part of her life make this a truly unforgettable read. (I am still working on just how I feel about some things.) This is a terrific debut and I am definitely looking forward to me from author Tiffany D Wilson.

finished copy received, for review, from publisher

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