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Tag Archives: terrible mothers

Review: House Broken

Review: House Broken

Title: House Broken
Author: Sonja Yoerg
Published: 2015
Length: 325 pages

My star rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

After her mother is badly injured in a drunk-driving accident, Geneva Novak reluctantly take her in while she recovers. Geneva resents her mother’s irresponsible behavior as well as her attitude towards her and tries to sober her up, but Helen is relentless in her pursuit of the numbing powers of alcohol. Her most painful memories have nothing to do with the car wreck, however, but rather with her unhappy marriage and secrets that she’s kept–and drowned in liquor–for decades. Her presence in the Novak household threatens to upend both Geneva’s childhood memories and her entire family in ways that none of them could have ever anticipated.

Note: this review is mostly spoiler-free. I’ve included some spoilers in my Goodreads review.

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Review: If You Find Me

Review: If You Find Me

Title: If You Find Me
Author: Emily Murdoch
Published: 2013
Length: 248 pages

My star rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★

Warnings: This review is (relatively) spoiler-free. I have included some hidden spoilers in my Goodreads review. The review (and the novel) also contain frank discussions of mental illness and sexual and emotional abuse and sometimes-graphic descriptions of violence.

Carey Blackburn and her little sister Jenessa live in a broken-down camper in the heart of an enormous national forest in Tennessee. They can rely only on each other, because their mother uses almost all her money to feed her addiction to meth. Their lives are turned upside-down, however, when Carey’s father, along with a social worker, come crashing into their clearing. They struggle to find their place in an alien world, but Carey also struggles with the ghosts of her past, some of which are easier to banish than others.

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Review: Where the Stars Still Shine

Review: Where the Stars Still Shine

Title: Where the Stars Still Shine
Author: Trish Doller
Published: 2013
Length: 336 pages

My star rating:  ★ ★ ★ ¼

Edit: After reading If You Find Me, I’m lowering my rating of this book, because it seems very similar to that one–and not necessarily in a good way. (IYFM was published ~six months earlier.) I still stand by the content of the review, however.

Warnings: This review contains minor spoilers; if you would like a spoiler-free review, they are hidden on Goodreads. The review (and the novel) also contain frank discussions of mental illness and sexual and emotional abuse.

Sometimes, the books you happen to stumble across at the library or the bookstore and decide to give a shot are the best surprises of all, aren’t they?

Where the Stars Still Shine is the story of seventeen-year-old Callie, a girl whose mentally ill mother kidnapped her when she was four and who’s been on the run with her ever since. When her mother is pulled over on a routine traffic stop, Callie is reunited with the family she can barely remember and must try to pick up the pieces of her life and reconstruct a new one.
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