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.
Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star
A compulsive read, this book was all I had hoped for and more. I was utterly hooked from the first word until the very end. The book itself was written in such a way that the story just grabbed me as it seamlessly unfolded. The characters were utterly charming and likeable despite, and perhaps because of, all their flaws.
Mattie, the main character, is a wonderful person that quickly endeared herself to me as she was unashamed about all of her troubles and her past. Having been through a lot in her life, she was definitely admirable to me because she didn’t seem to let anything keep her down. Sadly, difficult times seemed to be a common theme in her life and she finds herself down and out time and again which I can relate to in part. She has a lot of strength in the face of adversity, probably more than she realizes.
The entire cast of characters in this book was well thought out and very unique. I could almost picture each and every one and having grown up in a small town, the interactions between them made me nostalgic at times and happy to not be living in a small town anymore at others! Each person brought their very important part to the story and sometimes I found myself either crushing or cringing on some of the men that Mattie found herself entangled with.
I probably would not have anticipated every place this story took me but I truly enjoyed this book a lot and was really baffled that such a strong story could be a debut. The book was so good that I wanted to pick it back up again as soon as I’d finished it! I certainly hope that Melissa DeCarlo keeps up with writing such fantastic stories because I am definitely a fan for life.
Thank you to Harper Paperbacks for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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