Her father was supposed to be locked up until Meredith turned eighteen. She thought she had time to grow up, get out, and start a new life. But Meredith is only fifteen, and today her father is coming home from prison.
Today her time has run out.
This book is so heartbreaking. I actually found it years ago in the regular fiction section of my local Borders (may it rest in piece) and I actually have never found it in a YA section, though I classify all of Laura Wiess' books as YA and I know most people do.
This book is about Meredith who was abused by her father and he was sent to prison and was supposed to in till she turned 18 and could move out on her own, never to see him again. But instead he gets out early and at 15 Meredith finds herself having to deal with her own worst nightmare.
Meredith's mother is totally on her father's side, content with thinking the abuse was an "accident" and goes against the courts and allows Meredith's father to live with them. She is so ignorant about the entire situation and unfortunately that is the case with so many situations like Meredith's.
Thankfully she has allies in her condo unit. A ex police officer who answered the call on Meredith's father years ago and a boy in a wheelchair whose apartment she escapes to daily. But even with places to go and people on her side she has to come home sometime and when she does she is met with leering stares and innuendos from a father she was never supposed to see again.
This story was so honest, so gut-wrenching, I was captivated. It's relatively short and I read it in one day. I have reread it a few times and it is just as powerful every time. As someone who was a victim of sexual abuse I can tell you, this story could not be told better. There was never a time when I thought it seemed forced, the entire situation was written so incredibly well.
The language is a bit strong but the entire situation with what exactly happened to Meredith that put her father in prison is danced around, not ever explained in explicit detail. Still, though, it's heavy subject matter and even though I am pretty laid back about recommended ages for teens I would say this is a book for ages 16 and up.
I have lended my copy out to a few friends and all of them loved it and said it was one of the most powerful novels they have ever read. Definitely worth the read.
My Grade: A+