Author: Tiffany D. Jackson
Recommended for: 8th grade and up
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction Jackson, T.
Synopsis: Mary B. Addison killed a baby.
Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.
Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.
There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?
Review: Overall, I really liked this book. It was compelling and the narration pulled your into the story. Most of the story I truly was interested in Mary and her story. Did she do it? Did she not do it? What is the true story around baby Alyssa’s death? Can she get out of this life she’s stuck in? There’s also a lot of commentary on the justice system and kids who fall through the cracks.Was Mary truly a bad kid or just a victim of her circumstances. However, I am not a big fan of not knowing what REALLY happened. The way the book ended there’s an air of ambiguity that you’re not *quite* sure what to believe. Also, if we’re to take it at face value, it’s a little more predictable than I would have liked. There is also a bit of fat shaming, although, it’s pretty subtle and most people will miss it because of everything else going on. All in all, I enjoyed this book and would be a great recommendation for those who like Hopkins or gritty fiction.