Author: Steena Holmes
Published: November 2015, Lake Union Publishing
Format: ARC E-book, 222 pages
For overprotective parent Alyson Ward, any time her daughter, Lyla, is out of sight is reason to panic. So it’s a big step for her when she lets Lyla attend a sleepover at her cousin’s house. Comforted by the knowledge that her sister, Tricia, is the chaperone, Alyson does the one thing she never thought possible: she lets go and trusts that her daughter will be safe.
But Alyson’s sense of peace is short lived. When Lyla comes home the next morning, she reveals something that could tear apart not only their family but also the entire community. Now, Alyson and Tricia must confront their painful shared past as they come together to help a little girl who they fear might be harboring terrible secrets similar to their own. Will the sisters be strong enough to face their demons in order to protect the child, even if it means telling their most private truths?
My thoughts: This is one of BookSparks Fall Reading Reading Challenge books and as I soon as I read the description of the book, I knew I had to read it...it just called to me. And I'm so glad I did. This book grabbed me from the first page and never let up until I finished reading it. I was completely engaged in it the whole time, thinking of nothing else until I knew how everything came together.
Told from the view points of the four main women, it's impossible not to get caught up in what is going on. There's Alyson (Aly), Alyson's sister, Tricia, their mother, Ida and Myah, their friend. It's a character-driven story and we quickly find out that when helicopter-mom Alyson finally lets her daughter Lyla attend a sleep-over, there are far-ranging consequences - consequences that ultimately bring up a past that Aly, Tricia and Ida have long kept buried.
How far are you willing to go to protect your child? How much do we question our children when they tell us something, something they believe with all their heart to be the truth? Especially when that something ends up being denied by others?
Steena Holmes writes about relationships in this book - about a mother's love for their child, about a mother's fierce protectiveness for her children and about that mother questioning the choices they make - are they the right ones, even if they alienate those they love? It's an intense read, though the subject matter is a little tough to digest at times.
I devoured this book and have not stopped thinking about it since I finished reading it. It's the first book I've read by Steena Holmes, but it certainly won't be the last!