Genre: Realistic Fiction; Thriller; Mystery; Dark
“I know what you did thirty years ago.”
With those words, Polly Darby’s hard won peace is shattered. Now an ordinary wife and mother, she hides a terrible secret someone is determined to expose to the world. Who is Polly’s mystery stalker? And what do they know about the events that occurred in the woods that long ago July day?
Dark realistic fiction, what some may call ‘gritty,’ is a favorite genre of mine. In fact, it’s probably my top favorite. The premise of “Sins of the Child” is dark in itself, but the major twist toward the conclusion makes it incredibly more so.
Polly Darby is an honest, reputable small-business owner married to a wonderful man with whom she has a beautiful daughter. It seems her life, though simple, is going well and she is a woman of noble stature who deserves such success. But she has one hell of a skeleton in her closet:
As a fourteen year old girl, she killed her best friend.
While in juvie (prison for minors), she began her transformation into the woman she is today, distancing herself from the evil of her past. The only people in her new life who know who she really is are the reverend who took her under his wing when she was released and his daughter (her ‘sister’). Both have always shown her support and helped her to create a better life as Polly.
Now thirty years after the murder, she begins to receive encrypted notes which force her to once more face her past. She seeks out the people and family she once knew. She needs not only their forgiveness, but to find forgiveness within herself. During this journey she makes some quite unprecedented enemies.
The questions are: does she deserve the new life she has worked for? and will her past self ultimately be an inescapable reality of her future?
I don’t want to spoil anything, but what was already a gripping tale becomes an unforgettable one when the author throws both the audience and the characters for a loop with a twist I did not see coming. It’s an amazing story which delves into Polly’s broken psyche with details of abuse, both secret and seen, in all the characters and the long-term effects of their actions and interactions.
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~Sahreth ‘Baphy’ Bowden
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