One has to know the mind of a teen in order to have written this story. The people within the pages are those that explore relationships, those of mothers and daughters, those of sisters, those of friends, and tragically those that involve love and its lack of relationships that provides the continuum of this tale.
At the beginning, we learn of a young teenager being murdered, and as the story progresses, we learn of the circumstances, the background of the families, and the area in which they live. It is a story of rich versus poor, the have versus the have nots, jealousy and the repercussions of what can and does happen when that tug between the emotions boils up under the surface and comes to fruition.
The story is mainly about four girls. We learn early that Angel is the murderer, Carol is Angel’s mother, and Birdy the murdered victim. Marie is the youngest of Angel’s sister and from her we get a retrospective on the before and after effects of this murder. Carol is divorced and we don’t hear much of her former husband although he is present after the homicide.
Both Birdy and Angel love the same boy, Myles and while Myles encourages both girls, the intensity of their jealousy and eventually hatred of one another build up to the point of the murder of Birdy and Angel being arrested. If you know the psyche of teenage girls, you recognize the seizing desire and turmoil rolling over the girls.
This is also a story about the search for love, for acceptance, for the ability of knowing when someone is being used. Will the young Birdy be held responsible, and the social communications that may be the final stone in Angel’s grave be the key to Birdy’s obsession? We all remember those emotions that as teens we were ill equipped to control. The lack of parental oversight often lends to problems and exacerbates it.
This was certainly an intense story that flows together to a momentous conclusion in which it seems as if no one wins.
Thank you to Stewart O’Nan, Dreamscape Media, and NetGalley for the audio book of this story due out on March 15, 2022