Author: Laura Brodie
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Publish Date: July 3, 2012
Pages: 287 Trade Paperback
When she was five years old, on a warm summer night in rural Virginia, Maggie Green’s life was ripped apart. Three of her mother’s college students showed up on their property. They had been drinking and beneath the surface, her mother sensed menace lurking. Words were exchanged and a life-changing altercation ensued.
Ten years later Maggie is in high school, still plagued by nightmares of that night, which ended in a bloody and violent death. Further adding to her angst is a new challenge: geometry. She’s struggling in math and the teacher makes Maggie extremely uncomfortable, never making eye contact and passing her cryptic notes. What Maggie discovers about her teacher and what her teacher discovers about her will mesmerize readers of Laura Brodie’s novel of punishment, penance, and remorse.
Excerpt from Berkley Trade
This haunting book grasps the reader from the very beginning. Every mother’s nightmare unexpectantly occurs while Emma’s daughter is asleep upstairs as this college professor is confronted by three drunk students at her front door late at night. A 5-year old Maggie, after witnessing her mother’s violent behavior in an act of self-protection, crawls out of her bedroom window and hides in the forest which surrounds their secluded home.
Several years later, Maggie is in high school and still seeing a psychiatrist for the childhood trauma. She still experiences nightmares and can’t seem to open up to her counselor. She is a loner who entrusts very few people around her. She discovers one day that she recognizes her Geometry teacher as one of the college students who was at the house on that fateful night. The entire story begins to unfold when Maggie lets her teacher know that she remembers who she is.
What kept the pages turning is the way that the story revealed itself in such an unconventional way. Nothing about this story was predictable! Reading the story from the viewpoints of both Emma and Maggie, you can feel the hurt and regret of both characters. The aftermath of just the events of one evening changed lives forever. What was done could not be undone. Finding redemption and forgiveness is all that one could hope for after such a horrific and tragic event.
This book found its way into my mind and heart. This drama kept my attention at nights and during stolen moments which I was able to find some quiet time. The characters were expertly developed and the reveal of the story was mesmerizing. My only regret is that it took me much longer to finish this book than I would have liked to (and, that’s not due to the book, but rather my schedule of late). I would recommend this book to avid readers for a change in pace as this is a different breed of dramatic fiction. To learn more about this book and author, visit http://www.laurabrodieauthor.com/.