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Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

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 church-going 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?

In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness alive in all of us.

Goodreads Summary

When Mary discovers that she has her own baby to take care of she makes the decision to potentially clear her name. Accused of killing a three month old baby at the tender age of 9, Mary has spent most of her life either behind bars or in a group home. When her pregnancy was discovered, the state did not find Mary a fit mother and she faced the very real possibility of losing her child. Mary must take action and do something that she never thought she would do in order to secure her child's future.

Mary was a very complicated character. She was resilient, a tad grumpy, scared, and smart. Mary's mother really surprised me. I still cannot understand her rationale and how she could allow certain things to happen to her own daughter. Admittedly, I had trouble connecting to Mary. I can't imagine raising a baby in a group home and being an unwed mother. The author did a wonderful job of illustrating Mary's troubles and instilled a sense in me that she was not just a character, but a real person. I do wish that other characters had been more fleshed out and that more time was spent on Mary's past and the explanation behind what happened.

4 Stars

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