The Guilt We Carry

Samuel W. Gailey. Oceanview, $26.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-60809-320-5
One evening in 2005, the parents of 15-year-old Alice O’Farrell, the heroine of this gripping tale of redemption from Gailey (Deep Winter), leave her in charge of her bratty four-year-old brother, Jason, at their home in Wilmington, N.C. After Jason paints her bedroom walls with her fingernail polish, Alice yells at him. While she tries to clean the walls, Jason traps himself in the basement dryer and dies. Six years later, the guilt-ridden Alice is an alcoholic reduced to working as a bartender at a strip joint in Harrisburg, Pa. One morning, she wakes up next to the corpse of her boss, who has overdosed, in his trailer. Next to the bed is a duffel bag containing $91,000 in cash. Alice flees with the loot in search of refuge in Wilmington with an old friend, but on the train ride south she can’t help intervening when she spots a teenage girl being abused. The plot unfolds logically, and Gailey does a superior job of making his flawed lead sympathetic. Agent: Esmond Harmsworth, Aevitas Creative Management. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/19/2018
Release date: 01/01/2019
Genre: Fiction
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