From the national bestselling author of Whistling Past the Graveyard comes a moving coming-of-age tale set in the tumultuous sixties that harkens to both Ordinary Grace and The Secret Life of Bees.
Tallulah James’s parents’ volatile relationship, erratic behavior, and hands-off approach to child rearing set tongues to wagging in their staid Mississippi town, complicating her already uncertain life. She takes the responsibility of shielding her family’s reputation and raising her younger twin siblings onto her youthful shoulders.
If not for the emotional constants of her older brother, Griff, and her old guard Southern grandmother, she would be lost. When betrayal and death arrive hand in hand, she takes to the road, headed to what turns out to be the not-so-promised land of Southern California. The dysfunction of her childhood still echoes throughout her scattered family, sending her brother on a disastrous path and drawing her home again. There she uncovers the secrets and lies that set her family on the road to destruction.
Part coming of age tale, part family saga, this work of historical fiction put me in mind of V.C. Andrews and I mean her true style when she was alive, not the ghost written books that came out after her death. Although on second thought she would have made it shorter to stretch it into a trilogy. Tallulah James is on her way back to a home she never expected to return to, after news reports that her brother has been arrested for murder. On the way, and once there she recalls what it was like to grow up in such tumultuous times, and the events that led her to flee at such a young age. The story touches on civil rights, mental illness, first loves and family secrets.
4 out of 5 stars.
I received an advance copy for review.