Published by Harper Paperbacks, September 2015
Why I Read This Book:
I haven’t read a debut novel in quite some time. I was overdue. When I read the blurb and saw that the heroine wasn’t a squeaky-clean good girl, I was intrigued. A little variety is a good thing, so I agreed to join the book tour.
What the Book Is About:
Mattie Wallace has really screwed up this time. Broke and knocked up, she’s got all her worldly possessions crammed into six giant trash bags, and nowhere to go. Try as she might, Mattie can no longer deny that she really is turning into her mother, a broken alcoholic who never met a bad choice she didn’t make.
When Mattie gets news of a possible inheritance left by a grandmother she’s never met, she jumps at this one last chance to turn things around. Leaving the Florida Panhandle, she drives eight hundred miles to her mother’s birthplace—the tiny town of Gandy, Oklahoma. There, she soon learns that her mother remains a local mystery—a happy, talented teenager who inexplicably skipped town thirty-five years ago with nothing but the clothes on her back.
But the girl they describe bears little resemblance to the damaged woman Mattie knew, and before long it becomes clear that something terrible happened to her mother, and it happened here. The harder Mattie digs for answers, the more obstacles she encounters. Giving up, however, isn’t an option. Uncovering what started her mother’s downward spiral might be the only way to stop her own.(from the publisher)
What I Thought Of the Book:
I honestly didn’t like Mattie, the main character.I knew going in the she was your typical heroine, but for a thirty-year old, she could have done better. I thought she made stupid decisions and behaved immaturely. She didn’t seem to have the ability to think ahead or anticipate the consequences. As my sister would say, “She made bad choices.” And so she found herself stranded various places and, unfortunately, she hurt the feelings of others.
Not liking the main character doesn’t mean I didn’t like the book, because I did like it. The mystery of Mattie’s mother was so intriguing that it made me stay to the very end. I guess this is what could be called a “psychological mystery” as I stayed right with Mattie as she tried to figure out what happened to her mother in this strange little town. The various clues Mattie collected did not have the usual stereotypical feel to them. And that made it good.
The other thing that was good was the cast of quirky characters. Each one had a little something to them that made them rememberable. In particular, I liked Mattie’s stepdad, the teenager at the library, the guy in the wheelchair, her next-door neighbor, and her mother’s good friend. There are even more than what I mentioned here.
A good mystery, a good cast of characters, and a main character you can dislike — not bad for a debut novel. You should check this one out.
Thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book and to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to be a part of it all. To see other stops on the book tour, visit the schedule here: Melissa DeCarlo’s Tour Schedule