Althea Bell has come home to Alabama, she is fresh off a stint in re-hab for a drug addiction she has battled her entire life. Once home she is not greeted with open arms. Her dying father is yelling about how she is evil and something about her turning 30. Her snobby sister-in-law and political brother Wynn both loathe seeing that she is home. They inform her that her father’s will specifies that she must go into a mental institute when she turns 30 or she will inherit nothing.
What is it about turning thirty with the women in her family? Several generations of her female relatives have all turned up at the local mental institute called Pritchford once the clock tolls on that birthday..and Althea’s thirtieth birthday is just days away.
She must battle with her addiction and her family’s determination that she needs locked away to find out the secrets her family shelters. (I totally wrote that fancy didn’t I?)
Althea’s battle with trying to prove she is not mentally unstable reads so well that I felt that trapped feeling along with her. She doubts herself at times and the people around her completely think she is borderline of finally crossing the line. What happened to parading our crazy on the front porch in the south is one thing I wondered about. (Not that it really happens-even in my state there is an old mental institute that has been long closed down because of some of the terrors that took place there.)
Then there is a cigar box full of ‘clues’ that her mother left to her the night that she disappeared and later died. Along with the words “Find the honeysuckle girl.”
(That honeysuckle girl part drove me nuts turning pages to find out how it was going to wrap up.)
The women in Althea’s family all had stories and they didn’t really turn out like they all hoped. The history of how women were treated in the time period made me pretty ragey on their asshole male relatives.
Overall, this was a decent story that kept me reading. The only faults were that sometimes I felt like it went over the top and the ending wrap up seemed like a carbon copy of too many stories.
Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.