The screws tighten as, in tensely written scenes, her access to her friends and family is cut off and staff at the facility refuse to listen to her pleas that she’s sane. Oram convincingly dramatizes how the legal and medical system can be used to strip away autonomy, as Dusty takes advantage of his power of attorney and access to his mother’s money to live the high life. The material at times is harrowing but believable, especially as Oram shows how everyday people can find themselves abetting elder abuse, even perpetrating it. Rose begins to question her brother’s intentions, but is handicapped by a demanding boss and caring for her young son.
The Rose storyline offers a welcome chance at redemption, a human touch that also has the effect of somewhat diminishing the narrative momentum. Readers will be eager to get back to Jacklyn as she begins a series of escape attempts, with Oram generating suspense from a screwdriver, a security camera, and her clever performance of self. The specifics of the story are chilling, as is the broader message about the vulnerability of older Americans.
Takeaway: An older woman faces the fight of her life when everything is taken away from her—legally.
Great for fans of: Lisa Genova’s Still Alice, Emma Healey’s Elizabeth is Missing.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A