Title: Lacy Eye
Author: Jessica Treadway
Published: Grand Central Publishing March 2015
Status: Read from March 11 to 12, 2015 — I own a copy
It’s been three years since Hanna and Joe were brutally attacked in their own home. Joe died as a result, while Hanna was left with permanent physical and mental injuries. Now the man charged with the crime is seeking an appeal, and Hanna is desperate to recover her memories of the night her youngest daughter’s boyfriend tried to kill her, both to ensure he remains incarcerated and to put to rest any suspicion that her daughter, Dawn, was complicit in the attack.
The narrative unfolds from Hanna’s perspective and can at times feel claustrophobic. Hanna is isolated, her belief in Dawn’s innocence angers her older daughter, Iris, the case prosecutor and even strangers.
Hanna’s wilful self deception is frustrating though it soon becomes obvious she has a long history of avoiding uncomfortable truths. And though her past reflects somewhat poorly on her, it’s difficult to blame Hanna in the aftermath of the attack, for what mother would willingly entertain the idea that her daughter, whom she loves, wished her such harm.
While Treadway makes clear her sympathy lies with Hanna she demonstrates compassion for Dawn who struggled as a bullied child in the shadow of her older, popular sister. Nature vs nurture is a theme obliquely explored in Lacy Eye, through the relationships between mother and daughter and the differences between the two sisters.
The pace is measured as Hanna recalls the past and struggles with the events of the present. There isn’t a lot of dialogue or action but the tension is palpable as Hanna comes closer to understanding the truth of what happened that night.
Lacy Eye is a powerful psychological drama, inspired by a real life incident. It’s not an easy read but it is interesting and thought-provoking.
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