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Empty bottles of liquor litter the floor. Somewhere a little girl is crying. Laura Hallow wakes up covered in sweat, a scream clenched in her throat, half expecting to see her father plummeting to his death, or the glint of malevolence in her mother's eyes.

 

Years of heavy drinking and a blur of too many nights in strange places have done nothing to dampen the brutal memories of Laura's past. The only constant has been the fear and disappointment in the eyes of her 11-year-old daughter, Danlyn.

 

Rome, Georgia is the birthplace of Laura's nightmares, where shadows of the past still stir. She escaped once, only a shell of a young woman, and now, pregnant and in the grips of withdrawal, she and Danlyn must return to a place where horrible possibilities await and deadly secrets hide in plain sight.

 

When Laura accidentally stumbles upon the mysterious details behind her father's death, she and Danlyn are thrown into a treacherous world where truths will bring their relationship to the edge of disaster, and horrifying realizations will leave Laura questioning everything she thought she knew about her family.

 

The skeletons in the closet have come out to play, uninhibited and claws drawn. Laura will soon learn that some truths are worse than death.

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How is love measured? By how much you're willing to bleed for another person? Do they show you one of those pain-rating scales and ask how much your relationship hurts? Point to the most anguished face and win a prize.

 

At what point is it more humane to just rip each other's hearts out, instead of repeatedly cutting each other open with sharp words and lies?

If love is measured in scars and sacrifices, I win. 

When my father's accident requires that I leave the bright colors of Seattle for his stagnant world and decaying mind, I answer, because I'm reluctantly good, even though my father only knows how to make me bleed. He doesn't want me around, but he needs my memories. I don't want to be around, but maybe I need closure before the inevitable takes him away, too, leaving me with no one.

 

Only, I never learned to be careful what I asked for, and when the wall separating me and my father comes tumbling down, and I find that everything I knew about him was a façade concealing unimaginable truths, will I be able to sustain the deepest cut of all?

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