Pre-reading Thoughts Before Final Chapters:
I get that there are no easy answers so it makes sense if the ending is open but I will probably not like it. Again, this I do not feel like talking thing with Mary is old on page 200/218.
I can see they are trying make Mary’s mom three dimensional but eh.
Q: So Mary brother died of natural causes or what? And is that what made her mom become who she is today?
Q: How believable is Mary (as a nine year old) keeping the cross and burying it all without prints?
Like she knew she would have to testify now. Unrealistic! Also, you could have had this ready 50 pages ago when you first met the lawyers.
Q: So the whole Dr. Cross meeting was dropped or what?
Okay, Dr. Cross meeting came through. Mom and daughter thing is annoying!
Q: Why is Mary changing her story now? Weak!
Ending (Initial reaction):
It feels like an unpolished mess in ways. She either (or both) could not commit to one true ending and/or could not create a future for Mary because “realism”.
Q: So all of this was a plot to be the perfect daughter for white people? So did she kill Alyssa or not?
Ending (after a couple of days and further thought. since I finished the book before I could finish doing these posts week by week I had the time to actually go over what I wrote while drafting them. It has given me greater perspective.)
I think that the ending makes sense now but I still do not like it.The story did build up the idealization Mary has of Alyssa and her family. In the earlier chapters I did actually find it weird how Mary was acting.
I was ranting to my brother afterwards saying having the main character hold something back from the reader is one of the things you just do not do in a first person narrative. It is probably one of the rules of writing to not do (especially in the mystery genre).
Q: Do you think the story left itself open for a sequel?
Yes! There are so many unanswered questions left behind. The only thing she would have to deal with is this whole Mary doing this for this idealized image of Alyssa family. Basically, making it where Mary is guilty.
I am definitely going to do a review that talks that collects all (or most of) my thoughts on the book after having some time to think about the book as a whole.