Andrea (Andy) Oliver was living in New York, trying to make it in the theater world when her mother Laura was diagnosed with cancer. She returned home to Bell Isle, Georgia to help during her treatment and recovery. It’s been three years and she’s still there, struggling to figure out a career direction. She and her mother meet one morning at a diner and find themselves in an explosive situation that changes their lives forever. Andy thought she knew everything about her mother but now she’s discovering that woman had another life before she became the suburban one she’s known. Laura’s freedom is on the line and she pushes Andrea out the door with a few cryptic instructions and the command to “run.”
What did I just read? I thought the story was going in one direction and then it pulled up stakes and took me on a journey I struggled a long time to understand. It took a bit to put the “pieces” together to form a somewhat clearer picture of Laura but not with much help from Andy who made so many mistakes along the road I wearied of yelling at her. The story transitions back and forth between July 1986 and August 2018 and I felt completely lost when it made that first pivot. But it got pretty clear after that and it was a race to figure out who was trying get to Laura in the present day.
I’ve had this audiobook for a while and decided to listen to it before watching the new Netflix series. It is completely different than what I expected, in a good way. Andy’s odyssey to figure out her family’s identity while following Laura’s instructions was a haphazard one that covered a lot of geography and confrontations with people I wasn’t certain were friends or foes. The narrator delivered a great performance, providing wonderful distinctions for a host of characters, so much so that I always knew who was front and center. It’s a complicated, twisty path with a provocative ending. I enjoyed this story, even when it was most uncomfortable.
- Release Date: August 21, 2018
- Narrator: Kathleen Early
- Audio Length: 16 hours, 5 minutes
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio