Mary B. Addison killed a baby.
Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.
Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.
There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?
In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness alive in all of us. -Goodreads
Trigger warning: Abuse, talk/attempt of rape, animal abuse (it’s a very short part but I felt like I should add it because it was kind of gruesome).
Do you ever feel strangely drawn to a book, like it’s something that you’re supposed to read for some reason? That’s how I felt when starting Allegedly, and for the most part it did NOT disappoint! I can see a lot of people loving this book, it had so many plot twists and always kept you guessing.
The writing was what drew me in, it was captivating. There were snippets of articles about the main character and what she allegedly did, there were interview transcripts to split up the chapters by scenes. This was a definite way to keep me reading because we got other peoples take on Mary. Whenever a book has this, I’m 500% more likely to read it. They add on to the questions and make you ask yourself if you really know what’s going on. Or if these people are actually being honest with their take on Mary.
For the most part Allegedly was a 5/5 star read for me, like I said above I can see a lot of people liking this book. But it just wasn’t really the book I needed to read right now. With all of the trigger warnings above, my feelings for this book kind of fell. I think that this was the point of the book though, to make you think and to make you see that not everything is going to be rainbows and butterflies for Mary. But there was also a lot of talk about sex and that’s not something I’m personally comfortable with and the animal abuse scene was a bit too much for me. If you’re not a fan of swearing, also, this book has a lot of that.
But what bothered me the most was the ending (and this is more of a personal opinion, it’s not anything against the book). *Spoilers* I was hoping for a happy ending because all of what she went through but finding out the actual truth (from what I understand) just really depressed me. Like I said it’s nothing against the book but I felt very sad at the end. I was hoping Mary would find the happiness she deserved. *End Spoilers* Another thing about the ending (with no spoilers here), is that I felt like the whole story was pointless. It built up for this one moment that never really got the happen. So it was a bit disappointing.
Other than my own personal opinions, I thought this book was an easy 5/5 or 4/5. It was definitely a great book with A LOT of great promises. Just keep in mind those trigger warnings above, if you’re uncomfortable with any of those (along with swearing).