Not A Single Resident Of St Augustine, Florida, Can Forget The Day That Michael Joshua Hayes Walked Into A Shopping Mall And Walked Out The Mass Murderer Of Eleven PeopleHe S Now Spent Over A Decade On Death Row, And His Daughter Evelyn Who Doesn T Remember A Time When Her Father Wasn T An Infamous Killer Is Determined To Unravel The Mystery And Understand What Drove Her Father To Shoot Those Innocent VictimsEvelyn S Search Brings Her To A Support Group For Children Of Incarcerated Parents, Where A Fierce Friendship Develops With Another Young Woman Named Clarisse Soon The Girls Are Inseparable, And By The Beginning Of The Summer, Evelyn Is Poised At The Edge Of Her Future And Must Make A Life Defining Choice Whether To Believe That A Parent S Legacy Of Violence Is Escapable Or That History Will Simply Keep Repeating Itself Whether We Choose It To Or Not 3.5 stars Girl At The Edge explores the nature vs nurture concept, by featuring two teenagers who meet in a support group for children of incarcerated parents and decide to test out if they as Riverdale s Betty Cooper says have the killer genes This concept isn t navigated as intensely and thoroughly as I d wanted it to be However, I think that Girl At The Edge is, however, an interesting look at this subject matter There are dark nuances to the story, which was fascinating, but I kept finding myself anticipating intensity and darkness something that would make this a memorable read for me which I couldn t experience within the pages of this book However, I did like diving into the intriguing mind of our teenage protagonist and I think Girl At The Edge is absolutely well written If you re new to the topic of nature vs nurture , you might want to give this book a read. GIRL AT THE EDGE is of a character study of a teenager whose father is on death row, rather than the thriller I was expecting Evelyn s father is a mass murderer, which is an incredible burden to bear as his daughter Is evil in her DNA, and is ending up like him unavoidable The writing is good, however the story just isn t for me Stopping at 40% Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book. I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.This book is DARK The biggest question it asks is are we who we are due to nature, nurture, or both It s a question the main character, Evelyn, is struggling with, because her father killed 11 people in a mass shooting and is on death row She joins a support group, where she meets a girl with similar questions, and the story follows them as they try to find the answers There are quite a few disturbing scenes, which one would expect due to the nature of the book The set up is a bit slow, but once it picks up steam it doesn t really slow down The writing style is really beautiful not a ton of dialogue, but so many analogies and deep thoughts that it doesn t really matter Great read Evelyn has always felt she had something dark growing inside her..something possibly passed down from her father, who is on death row for a mass murder at a shopping mall Her mom suggests she go to a support group for children of incarcerated parents She agrees, and it is there that she meets Clarisse They become instant best friends Clarisse is dealing with the same demons that Evelyn is Then Evelyn proposes that they play a game to prove that they are not like their fathers They will each try to kill someone If they can t go through with it then they are nothing like them I have mixed feelings about this book It started out really slow and I almost quit reading it but I am glad I didn t I liked the book overall However, Evelyn had no redeeming features and I felt that her character was a little flat and didn t feel real The storyline was unique and fresh, and I wanted to keep reading to see how it all ended. My father is a murderer So begins Girl at the Edge, a compelling and deeply disturbing consideration of the invisible victims of horrendous crime the perpetrator s family Evelyn s father had an extramarital relationship with her mother, Mira, and when his wife learned of the affair and left him, he took up residence with Mira Six months before Evelyn s birth, he kidnapped his wife from the jewelry store at which she was employed, situated in the Ponce de Leon Mall in St Augustine, Florida He shot and killed eleven other people in the mall before forcing his wife into his car and shooting her Evelyn has never met or corresponded with her father has never visited him at the Florida prison where, condemned for his crimes, he will reside on death row until the sentence is carried out.Evelyn s story is told through her insightful but chilling first person narrative She can t recall when she first became aware of her father s history she has no sit down and have a serious talk with my mother memory in her mind But she has memories of other children taunting her at school A kid who sat next to me in reading group in first grade who whispered in my ear, My dad says your dad killed people, When she was six years old, she and her mother moved to Pass a Grille, a small beach town two hundred miles from St Augustine, and they continue residing there with her mother s partner, Shea Evelyn has numerous new articles about her father bookmarked on her internet browser, but doesn t open the links She describes how she can never escape the knowledge that her father s actions are like a rock thrown in the water, creating a wake, circles of motion emanating from the center out, ripples in the surface His actions ended ancestral blood lines, tore lovers apart, left children without mothers an fathers, made orphans and widows with each squeeze of the trigger And now his actions overshadow him He s reduced to a mug shot, a name on a list 00 of mass murderers, mall murderers, death row inmates And as his actions overshadow him, they hound and perplex Evelyn She has moved from simply knowing what happened on that horrible day to needing to know why it happened And contemplating whether, because he was capable of committing such monstrous acts, she is inevitably like him and, therefore, also capable of killing.Dietrich s prose is eloquent rich and evocative, almost rhythmic which, given that she is a poet is not surprising She describes Evelyn s feelings and inner struggle convincingly and empathetically In Evelyn, Dietrich has drawn a complex, deeply trouble character She has disturbing visions and has to remind herself that what she is seeing is not real She maintains The Catalogue of Everything I ve Done Wrong into which she enters details concerning acts about which she feels remorse or shame Despite being raised by a loving mother, and living in a stable home with Mira and Shea, she wrest es with self doubt and tries to understand whether the dominant force in shaping her character has been nurturance or if, perhaps, she shares an inherently dark nature with her father Dietrich says Evelyn is grappling with her own identity and trying to figure out how to navigate the legacy her father has left through his violent act The story moves at a steady pace, as Evelyn joins the support group and her friendship with the risk taking Clarisse deepens The two girls have much in common and embark upon a course of action fraught with danger Dietrich s examination of Evelyn s includes staggering developments that are shocking, as well as heartbreaking Evelyn and Clarisse are not typical American teenage girls They are part of a distinct group who are involuntarily saddled with shame, notoreity, revulsion, and a desire for normalcy that perpetually eludes them because of the heinous actions of a family member Dietrich deftly encourages readers to consider their plight and draw their own conclusions, even though she notes that she believes we re all at the mercy of both nature and nurture Girl at the Edge is a fascinating study of one young woman s circumstances that is not easy to walk away from after reading the last page Readers will find Evelyn s inner turmoil and actions haunting, and will likely never view a news story about yet another mass shooting the same way again.Thanks to NetGalley for an Advance Reader s Copy of the book. Thank you Netgalley for the early copy of Girl at the Edge This book was definitely weird and Evelyn was crazy Its about a girl named Evelyn who had a father who killed many people and was a murderer and everyone saw Evelyn as the murderer s daughter Everyone knew who he was Evelyn becomes a little obsessed with this whole killing thing She reads from another person named Andy who is in jail as well and reads his letters that he writes to his sister and that she posts on a blog for him She becomes obsessed with the whole killing deal She meets a girl named Clarisse in a support group and they become friends since both of their fathers were killers Evelyn creates a test to see if either one of them would have the willing power to kill Evelyn does something crazy and Clarisse starts thinking differently about Evelyn This girl was just insane The writing of this book was okay, not my favorite It was hard to keep my interesting through some of it The ending was good because you do wonder what the father was like and what he would say to his daughter. Thanks Netgalley for the copy of this ARC This was a first time read by this author and the synopsis and blurbs didn t give me much to go on, so I went in pretty blind I actually think that s the best way to do this If you like dark books you will be pleasantly surprised I have often questioned nature versus nurture as an adopted person and this book touches on all of that and The writing is quite beautiful and leads yo down a path of deep thoughts and lots of questions, but not a lot of answers After all this is just one story of that.Evelyn is the daughter of a mass shooter who is on death row She is struggling with this legacy and joins a support group for people like her to find her way She meets another girl who has the same kind of questions that she has and together they set out on a search for answers Will she be able to deny her violent impulses or is she like her father than she knows Many thanks to NetGalley, Grand Central Publishing and Karen Dietrich for the opportunity to read and review this dark thriller 4.5 stars A serial killer walked into a mall and killed 11 people in St Augustine, FL, and now sits on death row His daughter, whom he has never met, is a teenager now obsessed with death and trying to understand why her father did what he did Her mother encourages her to go to a support group for kids with incarcerated parents where she meets Clarisse, daughter of another murderer They instantly have a connection and spent the summer together talking about testing each other to see if they could be like their fathers.This is both a coming of age story as well as exploring the topic of nature vs nurture The writing is spot on, even when it is dark enough to make you shiver. Review 3.5 5This novel had a unique plot not often explored Using the dark topics of murder and the internal urge to kill, this novel explored the ongoing debate of nature vs nurture Evelyn has never met her father, as his crime was committed before she was born But although she has never met him is she bound to a future of violence as he had once displayed Overall, I enjoyed the way this novel was written and it definitely leads the reader down a path into deep thought and consideration about what makes a person who they are At times I felt the story moved too quickly, leaving me anticipating from certain plot points This novel definitely gets the reader thinking but leaves the reader with many questions, and not too many answers This book was not what I was expecting I had expected a thriller and a plot twist that started with a brutal crime and the typical who dunnit However, this is of a psychological breakdown of a girl trying to understand and accept her father is a serial killer The author does and excellent job breaking it down and leading us the readers to want to understand the fathers actions as well I would recommend this for those that are fans of the Slow storyline, with strong character building This is a nature vs nurture at its truest form Thank you Net Galley, and the Publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
- 357 pages
- Girl at the Edge
- Karen Dietrich
- 15 September 2018 Karen Dietrich