Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
This secret is between teenaged Grace Monroe, who accidentally mowed down a stranger while driving home from a party, and her mom, who insists on taking the rap. With a reading group guide. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Relationships are brought to the limit in Delinsky's splendid latest exploration of family dynamics. On a rainy night, Deborah Monroe and her teenage daughter, Grace, are driving home when their car hits a man. The victim, who turns out to be Grace's history teacher, is unconscious but alive. Although Grace was driving, Deborah sends her home and takes responsibility for the accident when the cops show up. Deborah is juggling a lot: as a family doctor, she is in private practice with her uber-demanding widower father, who is trying to hide a drinking problem; her son, Dylan, is vision impaired; her mother's death continues to affect the family; Deborah is still dealing with her ex-husband's new, separate life; and her unmarried sister, Jill, has just announced she's pregnant. Grace's guilt about not taking responsibility for the accident makes her withdraw from friends and family, and the accident victim turns out to have a more complex private life than anyone imagined. The author seamlessly resolves relationship issues without sentiment, throws in a promising romance for Deborah and offers a redemptive scene between Grace and her grandfather. Delinsky combines her understanding of human nature with absorbing, unpredictable storytelling-a winning combination. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Adult/High School-Secrets, responsibilities, truths, lies, and justice are some of the issues woven into this story, which begins with Deborah Monroe and her daughter, Grace, driving home in the rain. They are arguing and Grace is at the wheel when out of nowhere a man appears and she hits him. Deborah immediately decides to take responsibility for the accident and sends Grace running home. Being a doctor, she quickly checks for vitals and waits for the police and EMTs. When they arrive, Dr. Monroe answers all their questions and, although she never really lies, she does neglect to tell the sheriff that it was Grace who was driving. Her lies continue as she lets the entire close-knit community and her family believe that she was responsible for the accident. Grace suffers for her mother's well-intended lie, and circumstances become more complicated when the victim is identified as her history teacher. As the investigation gets underway, it is discovered that Mr. McKenna's life wasn't all it appeared to be. As the story continues, readers meet more people whose lives and secrets are exposed. This novel will have teens considering their own moral compass and asking just how honest, dishonest, and secretive anyone can be.-Joanne Ligamari, Rio Linda School District, Sacramento, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Deborah Monroe prides herself on her close relationship with her 16-year-old daughter, Grace, but a drive home on a stormy night creates a fissure between them. Deborah allows Grace, who has a learner's permit, to drive home, and during a disagreement, they strike a man who runs out in front of them. Grace is horrified to discover that he is none other than her history teacher, Cal McKenna. Impulsively, Deborah sends Grace home, and when the police arrive, she lets them believe she was driving the car. Grace is tormented when she finds out her mother has taken the blame for the accident, and she doesn't know how to tell Deborah that she had several beers before getting behind the wheel. When Cal McKenna unexpectedly dies, both Deborah and Grace are plunged into an abyss of guilt, and Deborah is determined to find out why McKenna was out in the rain and why he didn't tell anyone he was taking a dangerous blood-thinning drug. Delinsky plays it a bit safe, not digging as deeply as she could for a more literary exploration of a similar subject, check out Laura Moriarty's Rest of Her Life (2007) but readers looking for an engaging story will find it here.--Huntley, Kristine Copyright 2007 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
Delinsky (More Than Friends, 2006, etc.) offers a polished drama featuring an otherwise responsible mother lying to police to protect her daughter. When Deborah picks up teenage daughter Grace from a study group, she lets the girl drive home. Big mistake. A pouring rain, a dimly lit road, a couple of clandestine beers in Grace and a mild argument between the two contribute to hitting the runner that suddenly appears before them. And not just anyone; when they find his body by the road, Grace recognizes her history teacher Calvin McKenna. A doctor, Deborah stabilizes the man, who doesn't seem critically hurt, calls an ambulance and has Grace run home to watch her little brother Dylan. When the police later question Deborah, they assume she was driving, and she doesn't correct them. McKenna dies the next day, under mysterious circumstances, making the accident a potential vehicular homicide. Now Deborah's uncalculated lie of omission has more serious implications, particularly in Grace's life: She's guilt-ridden, terrified the truth will come out and withdrawing from school and friends. Deborah begins to wonder if McKenna is the real victim. After all, why was he running so far from home? Why didn't he alert hospital staff about the medication he was taking? The accident investigation pushes the story forward, and Delinsky does a fine job creating sympathetic characters with personal problems. Deborah, for one, shares a medical practice with her imposing father, who may be turning into an alcoholic. Younger sister Jill owns a successful bakery and is unwed and pregnant. Ex-husband Greg manages to infuriate Deborah years after their divorce. And to top it off, Deborah's best friend's husband--now her lawyer in the matter of the accident--has pledged to her his undying love. Making everything just a bit more complicated is the mutual attraction between Deborah and Tom McKenna, the dead man's brother. By novel's end the bizarre life and death of Calvin McKenna is explained, and much domestic turmoil is soothed, with happier days in sight. Well-crafted and satisfying. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.