This novel is written from the view of sixteen year old Hailey Trosclair. The Trosclair family has been in a downward spiral, her father loses his job, her mother has a miscarriage and retreats into her bedroom, leaving Hailey to fend for herself. Her brother Cyrus has had some minor brushes with the law. Looking for help from God and spending her time with her best friend and her brother takes up most of her time. Her brother introduces her to Moses Watkins, a failed preacher and ex-con. Soon they are spending a lot of time with Moses and listening to his twisted view of religion, one of which was, if God doesn’t do what needs to be done you have to. This view leads to a violent act that traps Hailey and Cyrus in a situation with no way out until Hailey commits a desperate act to free her brother.
There were times reading this novel that I really thought Chris Tusa was really a sixteen year old girl, or that he had stolen some girl’s diary and turned it into a novel. Normally with first person writing, I get annoyed because the author falls out of character or includes too much detail in an attempt to look ‘real’, this was not the case here. I was drawn into the story and felt I was sitting next to Hailey while she explained things to me. His descriptions of things were intriguing yet written with the plain language you would expect from a girl in Hailey’s situation. Her interactions with her best friend were what you would expect from two teenage girls and her decisions and subsequent actions were very realistic.
All this realism makes for a dark, gritty, novel yet in the end I kind of admired Hailey for her courage and her devotion to her brother. If you want a book with a happy ending, this is not the book for you, if you want to read something that makes you think and opens a door to the dark side of Louisiana I would recommend this book.