by Laura Wiess
'The promised Meredith nine years of safety, but only gave her three.
Her father was supposed to be locked up until Meredith turned eighteen. She thought she had time to grow up, get out, and start a new life. But Meredith is only fifteen, and today her father is coming home from prison.
Today her time has run out.'
*** MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS ***
This is the book that waxy bloggy friend Liz sent me to read after I'd commented about it on her own blog. It deals with incest and molestation, which many people probably don't want to read about, but it doesn't get into the dirty little details. The story starts four years after the incidents had occurred and is more about Meredith trying to deal with it all, especially now that her father has been released.
The writing style, the way this story is told, reminded me of stark and choppy indie movies that I don't like. There was always a bit of weirdness going on, always a feeling that you'd walked into the middle of conversation. Things are not always explained clearly. It sort of feels like you arrived at a movie late and are scrambling to catch up.
Although the father is the criminal in this, it's the mother that really boiled my blood. She stood by her husband 100% and couldn't understand why Meredith couldn't just get over it and move on so they could be a family again. Um, your husband raped your daughter, lady. She's supposed to forgive and forget? The mother blamed the daughter for the father's time in prison. "Why did you have to say anything?!"
Just . . . wow.
There are a few other quirky characters in the book, all neighbors and friends of Meredith's who are all sort of looking out for her. Turns out they all have a connection the Meredith's father, and they all want to see justice served. At times it seemed a little over the top, but the book reads so quickly and easily that there wasn't really time to dwell on those 'whatever' moments. I finished the book in a little over a day, but quicker readers could probably finish it in one sitting.
You really do feel for Meredith in this book. Her father, who molested her for years and then raped her, is out of prison much earlier than anticipated. That right there is a slap in the face to this troubled teenager. To make matters worse though, her idiot mother breaks every rule of the release agreement and doesn't think twice about it. She's just happy to have her husband home and get on with life. He's not supposed to live with them so she finds him an apartment in the same complex as theirs, and then just brings him to their home anyway. He's not supposed to ever be alone with his daughter, but IdiotMom thinks that's a stupid rule and leaves them alone the first morning home. She just can't see why Meredith is acting all weird.
And sure enough, PervyDad picks up right were he left off, telling his fifteen year old daughter how much he's missed her and wants to be with her again.
Meredith's retired cop neighbor sets her up with some 'nanny cams' and tells her not to do anything stupid but that they need absolute proof that her father is at it again before they'll be able to get the case opened again. Meredith can't stand the thought of even being in the same room as her father, but she knows that if she doesn't do something to stop him, other kids will eventually fall victim to him just like before.
Does she have the strength and courage to do what needs to be done?