These recent chilly nights mean it is time to put away your beach reads and pick up a book that will blow you away. For me, that book is We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker.
Part coming-of-age and part crime drama, this novel tells the story of 13-year-old Duchess Day Radley, a self-proclaimed outlaw, whose life is in shambles. Her mother, Star, is a struggling alcoholic and single mom to Duchess and her five-year-old brother Robin. Their family is one of legendary gossip and ridicule in their small coastal California town –after all, Star’s high school boyfriend Vincent King has been locked up for the murder of Star’s baby sister for the last thirty years.
Vincent King is about to be released and the Radley family aren’t the only ones worried about his return. Vincent’s best friend Walt, now town sheriff, has been busy watching over Star and feels responsible and guilty for turning Vincent in all those years ago.
When these beautifully rendered characters reconnect, be sure that decades-old resentments mixed with the anger of youth and a changing world will create an explosive reading experience. This emotional and intricately-plotted read is so compelling, that my only complaint was that I read it too fast.