Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Making Amends, by Melinda Clayton (author), Michelle Babb (narrator)

Thomas-Jacob Publishing LLC, March 2016

This is a fairly dark story of a broken family, and damaged people doing their best.

Thirty years ago, Tabby Clark, a young woman who grew up in the foster care system, and became addicted to drugs and alcohol, gave birth to identical twin boys. The relationship with the father didn't last, no surprise, and Tabby had, while pregnant, formed a friendship with a fellow addict in recovery, Von, and Von's husband, Ben.

Tabby kept backsliding on her recovery, even while working in Von and Ben's nursery business, until Vernon, the boys' father, stole one of the boys, Bobby. Twenty-five years later, Bobby suddenly reappears. On tv. Having been arrested for the murder of his father, Vernon.

Tabby had really stopped drinking and using after Vernon took Bobby, in order to hang on to her other son, Ricky. Now everything she's accomplished is threatened by her desire to have her other son back.

They're all complicated, flawed people.Tabby has been clean for over two decades now, but it's still a work in progress. She loves her son, Ricky, but she obsesses over her missing son, Bobby, and her feelings of guilt about him being kidnapped by his father. This means that in many ways, Ricky has taken second place to a ghost. Ricky loves his mother and knows she loves him, but he's aware of Bobby between them. He also wonders why his father took Bobby, but apparently couldn't be bothered to take him too.

Von is perhaps the strongest among them, but her status as clean and sober is as much a work in progress as Tabby's. She's also caring for her husband, Ben, who is slowly being swallowed up by Alzheimer's. He still has lucid periods, even days--and Ben, lucid, is a valuable person to have around, for everyone.

And of course, no one knows what really happened with Bobby and Vernon, except that Vernon is dead and Bobby killed him. The situation becomes even more fraught when Bobby, being transferred from one facility to another, escapes--seriously injuring two guards.

Tabby, Von, Ricky, Ben, and Von and Ben's daughter, Martha, are all interesting complicated, likable characters. They are all flawed, and they don't always make the right decisions or choices--some more than others. It's a darker story than I usually like, but it's very good, and the narration is excellent.


I received a free copy of this audiobook from the narrator, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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