by Elizabeth Petty Bentley
(Nov 2012, Parables $2.99 ISBN 978-1-3019-5661-6 ebook)
Tamar never made any secret that her goal is to break her mother's heart, now that she has sufficiently ruined her mother's life. Joyce knows Tamar is damaged, and Hollis tells her she should cut Tamar loose and stop letting Tamar torment her. But Joyce has her own secrets. Will the baby Tamar's carrying bring mother and daughter together or only drive them farther apart?
So far, this is my favorite of the books she's written. This was a real page turner. Tamar and her mother, Joyce have a dysfunctional relationship. Tamar is out to destroy her mother emotionally, and Joyce is just a hurtful. But it's not entirely Joyce's fault, she's got her own emotional baggage from her relationship with her mother. Now Tamar is pregnant, and the Sins of the Mothers will move on to the next generation except finally someone steps in to end it. Tamar and Joyce are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their Bishop wants the cruelty to stop. The women have to decide which is more important, hurting each other or their membership in the Church and their relationship with Jesus Christ. And how do you stop the habit after 20 years? I really enjoyed being able to see the motivation of both characters as the point of view switched. At first, Tamar seems like a horrible person I'd like to chuck out the window and Joyce is a long-suffering, patient parent. Next when I found out what Joyce is thinking, I can't blame Tamar for her behavior. As the story goes on, the revelations show what made these women the way they are and show that we shouldn't jump to judgement. They are are both damaged. Up until the end, I hoped the women would just walk away from each other because I couldn't see a way they could forgive and have a loving relationship. The conclusion would make for a great Book Club discussion. — Deborah Carl
This is not the type of book that I would normally pick up, but I was captivated from the first chapter. The characters are so devastatingly realistic. I felt for both the mother and her daughter. I can't say much about the plot without giving too much away, but my sympathies, my loyalty gradually migrated from one character to another. I loved this book and enthusiastically recommend it. — C. David Belt