cover image As Wide as the Sky

As Wide as the Sky

Jessica Pack. Kensington, $15.95 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-4967-1816-7

Pack (a pseudonym for Josi S. Kilpack, author of A Heart Revealed) follows the aftereffects of a mass shooting in this tender novel. Amanda Mallorie’s son, Robert, has just been executed. Four years ago, Robert, then 22, walked into a mall and shot nine people to death. But before that, he was simply Amanda’s Robbie. Amanda is torn between the grief of her loss and the fear that he deserved his sentence: there is no doubt about Robbie’s guilt, but there is also no doubt about her love for him. In an attempt to move forward with her life, Amanda relocates to Cincinnati from South Dakota to be closer to her daughter, Melissa, whom she had been neglecting in favor of trying to be there for her son in his last days. As she is packing up Robbie’s old things, she finds a ring she’s never seen before. Hoping for closure, she embarks on a journey to find the person whom the ring belonged to, hoping for one more good memory of Robbie and one person who knows him as someone other than the killer Robert Mallorie. Her journey through grief and towards healing is affecting, and this sentimental and hopeful story works as a moving reminder to look for the good in everyone. (Aug.)