Author: Tiffany D. Jackson
Genre: YA family fiction
I’ve now read all of Tiffany D. Jackson’s books. Monday’s Not Coming, Grown, and Let Me Hear a Rhyme. Unfortunately, I got rejected by Netgalley for her newest. Bummer! But with these four contributions, she’s on my must read list. Anytime a new book comes out, I’ll read it. No question. She has solidified her place in the YA world, in my opinion. And Allegedly, her first novel, is simply outstanding. I was on edge the entire time.
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 churchgoing 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?
Whew. Who knows, indeed? Is the real Mary the quiet one who never speaks? Or the one with big dreams? Or the one who intentionally killed a baby? Or the one who accidentally killed a baby? Or one who loves her mother so much that she’ll take the blame for the death? Or is she a combination of a few of these? How this story unfolds is just fantastic. As you get to see more of Mary’s current life (she’s the narrator), she slowly reveals her past to you. And it’s hard at times. If Mary is to be believed, her life as a child was very traumatic. But…. can you believe her? That really is the crux of the story, honestly. And Jackson writes it perfectly. You so desperately want Mary to be a good person, because she still is just a kid after all. But, not all kids are good people. For a first novel, this one was just excellent.