2017: #1 – With Love From the Inside (Angela Pisel)

2017: #1 – With Love From the Inside (Angela Pisel)With Love from the Inside by Angela Pisel
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on August 9th 2016
Genres: women's fiction
Pages: 320
four-stars
GoodReads

Angela Pisel’s poignant debut explores the complex relationship between a mother and a daughter, and their quest to discover the truth and whether or not love can prevaileven from behind bars.
 
Grace Bradshaw knows the exact minute she will die. On death row for murdering her infant son, her last breath will be taken on February 15 at 12:01 a.m. Eleven years, five months, and twenty-seven days separate her from the last time she heard her precious daughter’s voice and the final moment she’d heard anyone call her Mom. Out of appeals, she can focus on only one thing—reconnecting with her daughter and making sure she knows the truth.
 
Secrets lurk behind Sophie Logan’s big house and even bigger bank account. Every day when she kisses her husband good-bye, she worries her fabricated life is about to come crumbling down. No one knows the unforgivable things her mother did to tear her family apart—not her husband, who is a prominent plastic surgeon, or her “synthetic” friends who live in her upscale neighborhood.
 
Grace’s looming execution date forces Sophie to revisit the traumatic events that haunted her childhood. When she returns to her hometown, she discovers new evidence about her baby brother William’s death seventeen years ago—proof that might set her mother free but shatter her marriage forever.
 
Sophie must quickly decide if her mother is the monster the prosecutor made her out to be or the loving mother she remembers—the one who painted her toenails glittery pink and plastered Post-it notes with inspiring quotes (“100 percent failure rate if you don't try”) all over Sophie’s bathroom mirror—before their time runs out.

Sophie has a secret, one that her doctor husband and fancy friends would never guess. Seventeen years ago, Sophie’s mother Grace killed Sophie’s baby brother, and she now sits on death row.

This book follows the stretch of time between Grace and Sophie finding out what her execution date is and that date. You get alternating view points, from Sophie’s point of view and through letters Grace is writing to her. As the execution looms, the picture of what may have actually happened to the baby becomes more clear. And Sophie learns things that change not only how she views her mother, but how she views herself.

It’s difficult to not have your heart break for both women in this story. Sophie is emotional damaged, essentially orphaned, and hiding big parts of herself from everyone in her life. Grace is alone, still hoping she will someday see her daughter again, and coming to terms with her impending death. There are many victims here, with the baby just being the first.

This was an emotional, touching read, and I enjoyed it.

Other reviews:

  • “Women’s fiction is a genre that is rife with complicated family relationships and long-buried secrets. With Love from the Inside is a nice addition to the category.”Chick Lit Central
  • “Pisel wrote With Love from the Inside with an urgency to get to the conclusion, so while the intended punch in the gut was achieved, the road to get there wasn’t paved with in-depth character development or lengthy back stories.”Bound by Words
  • “As the story went on, I found my heart just breaking for both of them — Sophie because she was so damaged and living a lie and Grace because she was sentenced to death and living in prison.”Booking Mama

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