Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Book Review: Allegedly

Wow. Tiffany Jackson truly came out all cylinders firing on this debut novel of hers, Allegedly.

He passes her file off, then pats her on the back as if to say "good luck." New Girl is crying. Real sobbing, snot-nosed tears. I'm jealous; I haven't cried in six years. The tears are frozen inside with the rest of my emotions. She probably doesn't think she did anything wrong. I was that girl too once. (13)

Be prepared for the ride of a lifetime! So here's the details - Mary, convicted at nine years old of allegedly killing a baby in her mother's care, has gone from baby jail to a group home. Now nearing adulthood,
she soon finds herself falling madly in love with a fellow volunteer at a nursing home, Ted. As she finds out that she is pregnant and the state may take her baby away due to her prior alleged crime, Mary begins to wrestle the memories and weight of what allegedly happened. Did Mary really kill the baby? Did Mary’s mother kill the baby and have Mary take the fall? Was it another person all together that the cops missed? Does anyone know what truly happened? Can anyone's memory be trusted? Readers will be hooked until the very final pages discovering the truth to this story, and even still, you won't be sure you truly have it.

All of this in addition to a multitude of expansive threads woven into the fabric of the novel will leave you turning page after page. Full of questions and conversations about criminal justice, community, racism, social support systems, the nature of guilt and innocence, social justice, survival and equity - a thought provoking read on all accounts. There are several sexual, violent, and disturbing scenes, so for classroom use would recommend primarily for upper high school readers.

Lingering Lines:

That is the only advice Momma ever really gave me. Keep praying. God will work everything out. It never occurred to her that maybe she should try to work some things out for herself. Sometimes I wanted to shout "God's a little busy, Momma! He can't find your keys for you all the time!"She was always lazy like that, expecting everyone else to do everything for her. God and I share the same problem. (8)

"You know your feelings are showing?"
He grins.
"I know, right. My bad." (32).

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