Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from Harlequin Press, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it
In her latest ripped-from-the-headlines tour de force, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf shows how one small mistake can have life-altering consequences…
Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity—the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children's advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for.
Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends' couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen's and Jenny's lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.
This is a hard book to read for many parents- we've all been distracted and running on empty, and could Ellen's story happen to us? Emotionally the reader veers back and forth from believing the story, to shaking their head and saying no, it doesn't happen that way when looking out for kids is your job- you check things automatically. To me things were a bit too pat, so to speak, including the ending, and the story veered off from how messy and horrid real life in this case would be. So for me, Ellen was not a truly sympathetic character. But on the flip side, Jenny's story was more believable, and the reader wants to reach out and help rescue her and help her. In many ways, I wish Jenny's story would have been the story and Ellen's a side note, as I think it would have kept me wanting to read, as I put the book down numerous times, before reading til another stopping point. I do like Heather's writing style, and this is one of those books you really love or you appreciate, but aren't in love with it. And if you like family drama books, you probably will like this one.
About the Author:
Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence, These Things Hidden and One Breath Away. She lives in Iowa with her family. Check out her website for more.
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