23 February 2017

Allegedly - Review

by Tiffany D. Jackson

What they say: Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.

Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness alive in all of us.


Amazon UK * Amazon US (Allegedly was released in Jan in US) * Harper Collins

I received a copy from Harper 360 in exchange for an honest review!

What I say:  StereotypeNounA widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
 A person or thing that conforms to a widely held but oversimplified image of the class or type to which they belong.

Verb: [With objectView or represent as a stereotype.

Allegedly is a story which will stay with me for a long time. It's extremely difficult to read at times but is never meant to be easy. What do you do when everybody believes you incapable of making good choices, yet more than capable of doing something horrific? How would you cope when you have to fight popular opinion and cultural stereotypes? Would you fight for justice, to have your voice heard, or fold against the pressure? Would you challenge racist stereotypes and fight for more diversity in the world? Allegedly looks at it all.

Although the plot is difficult and uncomfortable I found myself pulled into the story and the controversial subject. I wanted to know the real Mary. 

The plot has a festering truth to it. Enriched by the back story, reports and research, I never quite knew what to think or feel. Mary's choices are difficult and the story really points out some pretty unsettling truths about the world we live in. I'm going to add a trigger warning due to the more adult content and scenes of abuse.
I'm not sure what I expected from Allegedly but I wasn't prepared for the grit and drama to be as hard hitting as it was for a YA story. I appreciated the message of the story, even if the ending had me wanting to hide the book in the naughty corner.

Tiffany D. Jackson really knows how to test her characters and readers - I felt emotionally raw after finishing Allegedly but am very glad to have read it.

4 Stars in my Sky!

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