The story told here by Elizabeth Flock is a heartbreaking one, along the lines of Kaye Gibbons' Ellen Foster or Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina. Eight-year-old Carrie is the narrator, and her life is one painful event after another. She and her younger sister, Emma, live with her emotionally exhausted mother and abusive, alcoholic stepfather. Carrie and Emma are strong fighters and depend wholly on each other. Carrie is fortunate to have memories of her real Daddy, who was kind and loving, who died a few years before the story begins. The book jacket promises "a shocking turn" which I thought, with disappointment, that I had figured out midway through the book. I was wrong.
I have one complaint about the book: Carrie didn't seem like an eight-year-old, and this was somewhat irritating. Why not make her ten or twelve? But aside from that, the book was fantastic--in the sort of way that a heartbreaking novel can be fantastic.