on January 1st 1970
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You know I very rarely have a hard time deciding how to rate a book. Sometimes I have to sit and think about the book and then decide. I finished this book and still do not know how to rate this book. I have been torn between a 3 and a 3.5 so I am going to leave it at a 3.
Just how well do you know your husband? Your Father? Your co-worker? Your employee? What secrets do people keep? How are they able to keep them? Just how good a liar or they? Or do people become good at ignoring the truth? What is someone you knew was accused of an atrocious crime? What if you have doubts? What if you believe them? How will you feel when secrets are revealed?
George Woodbury is a husband, father and teacher. A couple of years ago he saved a life when an armed gunman entered his school. He has been the local hero. He is seen as an all round good guy, a family man and respected member of society. His family and his town are shocked to the core when he is arrested and charged with a horrible crime. He has taken students on a school trip and three girls have accused him of sexual assault. He strongly claims that he is innocent and that his family should not be worried, that his name will be cleared.
As he is incarcerated and the police investigation continues, Georges’s family experiences many emotions and stressful situations. His daughter, Sadie, goes from being a popular high school student to the town pariah. She has a boyfriend but becomes confused about her feelings and her relationship as revelations come to life. She also is getting attention from a local Author who has decided to write a book and has become friendly with Sadie. She becomes confused about his intentions and her feelings for him. Her mixed up feelings and emotions cause her to make some bad choices and get in uncomfortable situations. George’s adult son, Andrew, helps with the investigation while grappling with his past and trying to make a future with his supportive partner who Andrew keeps at arms bay. George’s wife Joan has mixed emotions concerning his crime. She fluctuates between being in denial to believing the worst of her husband. Their community is turning against their family as George’s secrets begin to be revealed.
There is a lot going on in this book and the Author slowly unravels multiple layers at the right pace. There are some touchy issues in this book – teenage sex, consensual sex between a teacher and student, rape, adults in authority taking advantage of students, secrets, family secrets, bullying, etc. There are definitely some creepy aspects to this book which may also be difficult for some readers.
I will be honest, I was disappointed with the ending but I do realize that life does not always give happy endings and the Author kept things real in that aspect. There are parts of the story that I enjoyed and parts that I did not. This book proved to be a fast read for me and kept my attention. I wanted to know – was he guilty? Will he be found guilty? I did enjoy watching the family experience various natural emotions ranging from doubt, disbelief, fear, confusion, anger, rage, disappointment, hope, etc.
I received a copy of this book from Random House Publishing – Ballantine and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.