Lucy lives a hard life of a 7-year-old as the punching bag of her mother and living toy of her pedophile grandfather. All she wants is a kitten and peaceful playtime with little sister Daisy. Her father loves her, but struggles in his marriage and financially. School and Social Services fail Lucy.
Taylor does an excellent job showing how each person who could have assisted this little girl had an agenda they prioritized—mom, grandpa, teacher, principal, social worker, and foster parents. She, however, doesn’t fully explore the alternate personality of Violet, who does her best to protect Lucy and can inexplicably access memories of baby Lucy. The timeline is a bit confusing, as the reader sees Lucy being molested by her grandfather at age 7 as though it’s the first incident, but Violet witnesses memories of earlier sexual abuse. There’s also no real explanation for Lucy seeing the dead whom she calls “wonders.”
The mother Doreen is one-dimensional, actively seeking ways to terrorize her children, while taunting her husband, with no redeemable qualities, merely a couple references as the child of an alcoholic who ended up in foster care as a play for sympathy. The father Dan is more complex, with conflicting emotions driving his behavior, and a sense of desperation with the loss of control over his own family.
Lucy’s story comes across as a worst case scenario, showing every step of the way how every adult who could have improved her life chose instead to focus on their own selfish needs.
I was fortunate to receive this copy from the author in a giveaway.