Synopsis (from Goodreads): Lulu and Merry’s childhood was never ideal, but on the day before Lulu’s tenth birthday their father drives them into a nightmare. He’s always hungered for the love of the girl’s self-obsessed mother; after she throws him out, their troubles turn deadly.
Lulu’s mother warned her to never let him in, but when he shows up, he’s impossible to ignore. He bullies his way past ten-year-old Lulu, who obeys her father’s instructions to open the door, then listens in horror as her parents struggle. She runs for help and discovers upon her return that he’s murdered her mother, stabbed her sister, and tried to kill himself.
For thirty years, the sisters try to make sense of what happened. Their imprisoned father is a specter in both their lives, shadowing every choice they make. Though one spends her life pretending he’s dead, while the other feels compelled to help him, both fear that someday their imprisoned father’s attempts to win parole may meet success.
My Thoughts: This book was so full of emotion! I loved the alternating views of Lulu and Merry. Lulu and I felt a quick connection to both. These characters were so real that I feel like I am missing them now that I have finished the book.
With the opening sentence "I wasn't surprised when Mama asked me to save her life" you have no choice to be drawn into the story immediately. From there it flies by with heartwrenching stories of the Lulu and Merry and how the domestic violence has changed them both. Lulu grows up with a wall around her. She is very strong and independent and leans on no one while Merry seeks the love and approval of everyone, including her father.
This book deals with dometic violence at it's worst, grief, guilt and a little forgiveness. It tells how to young girls grow up, the different ways they each deal with what happened and how they finally accept it and deal with the closure. A must read for anyone! There was not a slow moment in the book.