People say the truth will set you free, but Grace isn’t sure about that.
Just when Grace is beginning to get used to being an orphan, her estranged uncle suddenly comes forward to claim her. That might have been okay if he’d spoken to her even once since her father died. Or if moving in with Uncle Rusty didn’t mean returning to New Harbor.
Grace once spent the best summers of her life in New Harbor. Now the place just reminds her of all she’s lost: her best friend, her boyfriend and any memory of the night that changed her forever.
People say the truth will set you free, but Grace isn’t sure about that. Once she starts looking for it, the truth about that night is hard to find — and what happens when her healing hurts the people she cares about the most?
This book completely blew me away. It was heartbreaking, heartwarming, and overall important. This is the story of Grace becoming a survivor. She’s grappling with the aftermath of a life-changing weekend, from her dad dying, her uncle abandoning her to the foster care system, and someone raping her.
This story was beautifully written. Grace stands out so much on the page for me. I feel her pain and confusion. We watch her confront all the people who hurt or abandoned her. We watch her painful realizations and decisions. Does she report her rape? Will people believe her? Does she even want to face the person who did this? She’s also struggling with relationships. She lost her best friend, her dad, her uncle, and her boyfriend all in a short time. Now, she’s back in a town with nothing but painful memories for her and she’s having to grapple with who she is now versus who she was when she used to live there. She’s facing a multitude of tough choices and tough situations. Grace has spent so long with her life decided for her and now she has the freedom to chose what it will look like. But what does she want it to look like?
This is also a deep dive into regret, blame, and grief. She feels guilty for being raped as if somehow it was her fault. She regrets pushing away those important to her. She blames her Uncle for abandoning her and her rapist for leaving her with such a gaping hole. Others grapple with those feelings as well, letting it shape their lives in ways they wish it wouldn’t. It’s a turning point for so many of the characters in this novel, Labor Day weekend shaking more than just Grace’s life for good. But as the same with Grace, what do they want their lives to look like now?
This is a harrowing look at sexual assault/rape and how it affects not only the victim/survivors life but of all of those around them. It’s truthful, painful, but overall hopeful.