Life couldn't be any better for Barrie Graeber, a high school counselor. She has a successful husband, a wonderful home, a great son, and the perfect daughter. Pearl is the high school senior every mother dreams of. She is a cheerleader dating the quarterback.
The perfect picture begins to crack when Barrie is taking Pearl home after a game. They happen to see the quarterback, Pearl's steady boyfriend, kissing her best friend.
Barrie tries to help Pearl cope with the betrayal. There is a sense of helplessness as Pearl shuts out her mother. One night Pearl comes home drunk, something Barrie can hardly imagine from her daughter. The tension mounts until one night the dreaded visit from the police. Pearl had been killed in a one car accident. And the unthinkable – Pearl was pregnant.
The novel follows Barrie as she pursues the real history of her daughters last weeks. When she finds out who impregnated her daughter, she must battle the system to see that justice is done.
What a great novel. My heart went out to Barrie as she tried to understand what happened and how to deal with it. It was so hard when she and her husband disagreed on the course of action. And when she had to fight “the system,” it was all too real.
Kellie has managed to capture the feelings of a mother as she faces the reality of a daughter who was not who she thought she was. This is a very touching and emotional novel. Well done! Discussion Questions at the end of the book make this a fine choice for reading groups.
This is Kellie's debut novel. I'll be looking for the next one.
Go to http://kelliecoatesgilbert.com/ to watch a video and find out more about the book and author.
Kellie Coates Gilbert is a former legal investigator and trial paralegal. She lives in Dallas.
Abingdon Press, 303 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.