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Paperback Details
  • 9781734876222
  • pages
  • $14.00
Tori Starling
Author
Crazy Free
There have always been glaring holes in Emily Sharp’s family history. Her mother, Pam, a high-strung attorney, rarely speaks of the father she despises or of the mother she never knew. But when Emily, a journalist for a local magazine, receives an assignment to investigate the sale of an old mental institution in a nearby town, Pam reluctantly opens up and shares that her mother, Kora, was a patient there and died shortly after she was committed. As Emily digs deeper into the tarnished asylum’s past, Kora’s voice comes alive, and long-buried secrets are unveiled that shake the foundation of Pam’s—and Emily’s—existence. Told from alternating points of view, the story weaves together three generations of women and their passions, dreams, and losses.

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.75 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: This is the story of three generations of women—Emily, her mother, Pam, and Pam's mother Kora—whose lives are interconnected through both the past and present. Family history, long-held secrets, mental illness, ambition, and the ties that connect families and bind them together come together to create a moving narrative of three women struggling to find their own way, despite their hardships.

Prose/Style: Starling's prose is fluid and beautiful, and the story, though it spans three generations of women, moves seamlessly between each woman's perspective. The passages about Kora are especially haunting and lovely, as she tries to free herself despite her imprisonment and terrible circumstances.

Originality: What makes this story original not its subject matter, but how well it's told—Starling jumps delicately between stories, creating connections for the reader and building plot and character relationships that are meaningful and emotional.

Character Development/Execution: Character is one of the strongest aspects of this narrative. All three women are developed beautifully and allowed to exist in their own space, while still clearly being connected to one another, not only through genetics, but through determination, strength, and love.

Date Submitted: August 31, 2021

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 9781734876222
  • pages
  • $14.00

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