Review: When We Were Worthy

October 24, 2017 book review, southern lit 2

  • Written by:  Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
  • Narrated by: Joshilyn Jackson
  • Published by: Brilliance Audio
  • Length:  9 hours 11 minutes
  • Source:  Purchased from Audible

Summary:

When the sound of sirens cuts through a cool fall night, the small town of Worthy, Georgia, hurtles from triumph to tragedy. Just hours before, they’d watched the Wildcats score a winning touchdown. Now, they’re faced with the deaths of three cheerleaders—their promising lives cut short in a fatal crash. And the boy in the other car—the only one to survive—is believed to be at fault. As rumors begin to fly and accusations spin, allegiances form and long-kept secrets emerge.

At the center of the whirlwind are four women, each grappling with loss, regret, shame, and lies: Marglyn, a grieving mother; Darcy, whose son had been behind the wheel; Ava, a substitute teacher with a scandalous secret; and Leah, a cheerleader who should have been in the car with her friends, but wasn’t. If the truth comes out, will it bring redemption—or will it be their downfall?

My Thoughts:

I had the opportunity to read this book early in print, but I opted to wait for the audio book.  I am a fan of Marybeth Whalen and the excitement of a new book was amplified when I learned the narration would be done by Joshilyn Jackson.  The two women are masters of southern fiction, and adding Joshilyn’s cadence and special southern charm to Marybeth’s words is a match made in listening heaven.

Small towns in Georgia are all about football, and cheerleaders and the people who never left town and are now raising their own families in the same town.  I live in a  similar small town in Florida.  Some people seem to know everybody else’s business.  When you add a tragedy where young people die it amplifies the rumors and everyone can see your true colors.

As the summary mentions the four women who we learn the most about are diverse.  I most related to Marglyn, as she’s the mother of one of the cheerleaders who was killed, and her guilt and doubts haunt her.  Mothers of teen girls can relate to her so much, we are often friends and enemies in any given moment and moms are filled with self doubt.  Are we too hard on our girls, did we allow too much, did we give enough, did we misinterpret their calls for independence and not see how much our girls need us?  She broke my heart.

I highly recommend this book, whether you choose to read it or listen to the audio.  This book was the September She Reads Book Selection.

 

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