What does it feel like to stare into the face of madness? Or to anticipate your own? Would you drive away your only love? Could you pretend it didn’t matter? How far would you go to protect a friend, or to avenge a death?
Ten years ago, Devon gave up the love of her life, fearing she would one day fall victim to the mental illness that has slowly ravaged the mind of her mother, who is now being cared for in a private facility. Just when it seems Devon might have a chance to make up for past mistakes, her best friend Cass becomes a suspect in the murder of her sister’s drug-dealing boyfriend.
Devon knows Cass is lying about the details of her involvement and the lead detective on the case, convinced that Cass is guilty, is relentless in his pursuit of justice.
When her mother’s young, emotionally disturbed roommate insinuates she knows something about the night of the murder, as well as details from Devon’s own life that no one else is privy to, Devon becomes desperate to uncover the truth before Detective Lake does. As the investigation continues, Devon is led down a path she never expected and forced to face her greatest fears of life and love.
Tangled in a web of lies, regrets and questions, can she find a way to let go of the past and start again? And, once the mystery is solved, can she live with the secrets she’s uncovered?
Pages: 470 (Paperback)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Source: Copy given to me for participation in book tour
I was intrigued when I read the description of a Lighter Shade of Grey by Devon Pearse and excited to be part of her book tour. The novel could actually be broken up into several stories. I enjoyed being swept up into the inner workings of the main character. However, I was frequently confused and had to stop several times to regroup and figure out where I was in relation to all of the stories that were unfolding. I know that the narrator was the connection between all the stories, but at several points I felt like things could have been edited to make the book more succinct.
In spite of these issues, I did enjoy the book. I especially liked the Cass story line. The friendship between Cass and Devon was fun to read. The relationship of Devon and her parents was also page turning. I imagine that it must be hard to experience a loved one having a mental breakdown. The attempts of the narrator and her father to hide her mother's illness and keep things as normal as possible was heart wrenching. As more stories of mental illness are shared, I hope that the stigma decreases.
On the back cover and in the author note, Devon Pearse mentions that the story is semi-autobiographical. As I was reading, I kept wondering how she made the disctinction. With a story so personal and intense, I imagine that it would be hard to know where to draw the boundaries. Luckily for all of us, the author agreed to address this question with a guest post on July 21st. Please come back to read her thoughts. In the meantime, you can check out the other tour stops here.
I am counting the book for the following challenge:
1. 2012 Chunkster Reading Challenge: the book is 470 pages.