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Summary

Orange Is the New Black meets Walter Dean Myer's Monster in this gritty, twisty, and haunting debut by Tiffany D. Jackson about a girl convicted of murder seeking the truth while surviving life in a group home.

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 churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it?

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's fate now lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But does anyone know the real Mary?

©2017 Tiffany D. Jackson (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"Bahni Turpin’s stunning narration of this audiobook at some points seems like a multivoiced performance.... Turpin excels at giving dimension to even minor characters - bullying housemates, pretentious and cruel housemothers, and the lawyer who is determined to get Mary justice.... From the gripping beginning to the unsettling ending, Turpin maintains the intensity of this compelling story." (AudioFile)  

What members say

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5 Amazing Narration Stars

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Amazing Narration Stars!

Ok first thing to say about this audio book is WOW!!

The narration was **OUTSTANDING**, perfectly narrated by Bahni Turpin, you may have heard her voice before in The Help by Kathryn Stockett, (if you have never listened to an audio book before, i always recommend that one to begin with, it started my addiction)

Anyway back to the book....

This was a bit of a tough read, especially as you are not really sure of the truth.

Mary B Addison is a baby killer...Allegedly

We follow her story in a group home, and hear her journey from 'baby jail' to now.

You see, when Mary was arrested and sent away, she was 9, she was babysitting with her mother and the baby was killed.....by her....Allegedly!

The thing that makes it worse (for her) she is black, and the baby was white.


"Doesn’t matter what you say about racial equality, you’ve never seen white families storming the steps of city hall demanding justice for a little black baby"


Considering this was a debut novel, this was a moving, gripping, sometimes shocking story with twists and turns that i didnt see coming AT ALL.

The group home is as bad as you think it is, i was terrified for Mary most of the time, the characters was brilliantly written, even the bad ones, special mention to 'New Girl'

Now Mary is pregnant herself and wants to try and be the best that she can be, she doesn't want to bring up her baby in that environment, and tries to better herself by getting her schooling qualifications.

The thing is she needs to ask for help, and no-one, not even her mother is really willing to help her.

This book is a dark read, Mary has been horribly abused by the system just because she is a famous baby killer......Allegedly.

But did she really do it??

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Pure Brilliance!

I was so looking forward to listening to this book and it did not disappoint.

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  • Gary
  • 12-03-17

Good story, GREAT narrator, ending a bit unreal.



I started thinking this book was going along adhering to the accepted formula, but it didn't quite do that. On the other hand, the main shift to the ending was done too abruptly, and while it was consistent with the story, it simply just happened, and that was a bit unsatisfying.

Bahni Turpin is a very fine narrator, and is a large part of why the book is a very enjoyable listen. Maybe the narration could have provided the forshadowing that was missing, but I don't think so---it's meant to be a last page reveal.

On the whole, though, pretty darned good!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Ida
  • 08-02-17

Chilling, raw, and gut-wrenching

As many others have stated, this story will stay with you for a long time. It is difficult to walk away from it once you start listening to it. However it is so intense. The roller coaster ride of Mary's life is emotional and you have to take a break. The story is extraordinary. The descriptions of the juvenile justice system and places where young convicts live is true to life realistic. Unfortunately some places are worst than described. The brutality among the residents was so vivid. That a little girl was placed in such an environment is tragic. Mary, the main character is a tragic hero. The reader roots for her during most of the story. Mary was extremely bright and worked hard to achieve the goals that she had set for herself. She also knew how to work with others who could help her along the way. It is difficult to determine if Mary is smart enough to be manipulative. The reader hears Mary's version or her interpretation of the events. The narrator was excellent! Absolutely excellent! I love the African American Brooklyn accent, Hispanic Brooklyn accent and the various others. The writing was superb. The story did start to become redundant toward the end. It was also confusing at one point in that Mary and her mother seemed to have switched roles assuming the other's identity. Overall the book is very written. It is a story that should be studied by teachers, social workers, school counselors and anyone looking for employment that includes working with children.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • brownie-z
  • 07-04-17

Highly entertaining, thrilling read

While the narration of the book was excellent; perhaps the best I have heard in an audiobook, I felt strung along when I reached the ending. The author spends so much time developing this character and providing vignettes of who she is and how she reacts in different situations, only to betray us in the end without any explanation.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Roseann
  • 11-05-17

A Couple of Twisted B**ches

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book. It's like a roller coaster ride. I know I liked it because it seemed like the story flew by. Loved the twists

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Yikes
  • 28-02-17

Soooo Good

This is not a thriller but it was amazing! The narration was spot-on and added to the excellent story. It moves along quickly and while parts are predictable while others are surprising, it's never boring. A twist at the end I never saw coming. Get it - it's worth the credit.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • IN BETWEEN THE HEDGES
  • 27-02-17

Fooled Me

I was hooked, lined and sunk. I bought it all. Loved the book as it was well written and the narrator was on point as usual. Bahni is the boss. BUT I did yell at the main character a few times because she second guessed every thought until it was detrimental to her cause. Good read/ listen enjoy!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Will
  • 08-04-18

What a story!

this book lived on my wish list for sometime, and finally decided to download, and I'm mad at myself for waiting. This story will take you places emotionally.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sherry L. Wright
  • 04-12-17

one that really makes you think...

hard to listen to at times but one that will have you remembering and thinking once it's over.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Ryder
  • 30-11-17

Abrupt Ending!

As always, loved this narrator, and overall, story was great, but the twist in the last chapter really didn't fit with everything we knew about the main character and who she was.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amanda
  • 07-10-17

Rocked my world.

The narrator of this story is incredible.
The story itself is incredible.
The plot is absolute insanity.
The twist at the end knocked me off my feet.
It’s painful. Changed my views in a lot of ways.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful