Friday, January 6, 2017

Allegedly By Tiffany D. Jackson ARC Review

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.

At the core of this story, is a stunning and realistic tale of poverty, and hardships. Jackson does an amazing job of painting a true to life picture, of life in "prison," and the struggles of a young girl, just dealing with a lot.

Needless to say it was a raw story, at times cringeworthy, to hear the main character's story and how she grew up in this prison-like system--dealing with the repercussions of allegedly killing this "white" baby. (The color of the skin of the baby is important to the story, which is why I'm mentioning it.)

I really felt connected to the story in that way, watching the way the character was raised, down to the way the character describes the way her mother smells--connecting the smell of her hair and food--and letting that remind her of home. I felt akin to the character. Also having it set in NY--my hometown made it that much more easy for me to enjoy.

Aside from that, there are a lot of detail filled chapters to this story, there's a lot of background to get into--so there are a lot of chapters where nothing particularly exciting happens--but I can see the reason for it.

You really get to know the characters in a personal way--their strengths and weaknesses. Their quirks, the real meat of the characters. Though I tend to not go for novels that are heavy in background, and a lot of "getting to know," time. I did quite enjoy hearing Mary's story--and when she gets pregnant, the story becomes more profound.

It's quite the story, and pretty well done. It was very interesting trying to put all the pieces together, all to find out I was wrong. The ending was superb and I will say I didn't see it coming. The author had me fooled, and I am truly a sucker for a good ending. So, thumbs up for that.

It's not a whodunit mystery, so don't expect a lot of intrigue, but there's definitely some questions to be asked and by the end you'll have you answers. Some of you will be pleased, some may not--but for a debut novel, it's pretty darn good.

Great for people who like their novels real with a lot of detail. A worthwhile read.


  1. Sounds like a tough read but good. Lots of details scares me though because it makes it sound dense which I am not always good with. Great review!

  2. I just read another review of this where the reviewer just completely hated this book. I think I might not ready for this.

    1. I thought it was decent the ending was really the better part!

  3. Wonderful review for this! I don't know if it will be a read for me or not but I'm definitely intrigued by it.

  4. I'm keeping my eye on this one---waiting to see what people think. It sounds really interesting...

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  5. Great review Jazmen!! This one sounds really interesting, despite the tough subject matter that it may have, I'll definitely be adding it to my tbr.

  6. When I read the synopsis to this novel, I was curious. That's a pretty big thing to be accused of having done. I really like that you get such a deep connection to the character, and that you weren't able to predict the ending! A slow and steady novel is not always a bad thing.

  7. I'm so glad you did a review for this one. I haven't seen one for it yet, at least not that I can recall lol, and it sounds very interesting. I don't mind a novel that deals with tougher subjects so it sounds right up my alley. Wonderful review!