Thursday, December 7, 2017

Book Review: 'When We Were Worthy' by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen



Small towns are known for a variety of things. Community. Support. Gossip. Oh, and the secrets. There are always secrets, right? Worthy is no different and when a tragic accident takes the lives of four of their cheerleaders, all that they thought was hidden rises to the surface. It doesn’t take much to become famous – or infamous – in a small town. What is the truth, how did they get here, and will the town ever recover?
Told in alternating points of view, When We Were Worthy, is an emotional roller coaster of a novel. Margalyn’s conflicted feelings over the loss of her daughter and the chance to help another, less fortunate girl, hit me the hardest. As a mother, I can understand her position and why she did what she did. Darcy’s story is probably the most tragic, and in a lot of ways, I can relate to her as well. Who wouldn’t do everything they could to protect their child? Even when that child is guilty, they’re still yours. Ava and Leah are both compelling characters with their own secrets and, although I don’t necessarily relate to them as well as the others, they deserve to be heard and seen and understood.
Through the eyes of four very different women, we see a town in mourning as well as a town with problems like any others. When We Were Worthy is a story of redemption, of forgiveness, and human nature at work. These women aren’t perfect by any means, but they are who they are and, by the end of the novel, they have come full circle, having examined the best and worst in both themselves and the town surrounding them. No one comes out unscathed, but everyone comes out changed. You just have to hope that the change is for the better.




Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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