Author: Tiffany D. Jackson
Published: expected January 24 2017
Source: publishers via edelweiss
Mary B. Addison killed a baby.
Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.
Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.
There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?
In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness alive in all of us.
Tiffany D. Jackson's debut novel Allegedly is the dark contemporary story of an infamous convicted teenage murderer named Mary -- who may or may not be innocent of the crime that the nation has hated her for many years. The premise is intriguing, and combined with the solid writing and characterization done over the course of its pages by this new author, Allegedly is a strong, memorable novel. It's a dark, unflinching, and harsh contemporary story; one told with more than a few real-world parallels. It's also utterly unpredictable and wholly unputdownable. It's an engrossing and fresh read; the subject matter isn't an easy one and the characters aren't either.
Allegedly clocks in at a respectable 400 pages and not a page of that feels wasted. The pacing is moderate as the pieces are set up and the narrative is rather clever in how it frames the plot and Mary's evolution. By using various interviews and documents about Mary's past/case/conviction/personality interspersed with the more straightforward events concerning her present-day life, the author creates an ever-evolving understanding of both her and her inscrutable mother. Mary's struggle for the truth/her memories of that day is the main focus of Allegedly but while exploring what happened to baby Alyssa, Jackson subtly interweaves themes and harsh realities about mental health, incarceration, racism and prejudice.