The story seemed to begin a little slowly, but as it unfolded I found myself thoroughly engrossed. It has stayed with me since I finished the last page. The characters are very real and, though deeper, darker and more complicated than most, the problems are those of family life.
Told from the point of view of 16 year old Hailey Trosclair, it paints a dark picture of a poor family in New Orleans struggling to cope with unemployment, drugs, infidelity and crime. Hailey is trying to hold her family together as she is learning to deal with right and wrong, her own sexuality, understanding the people she cares about and her own relationship with God. She is coping with all this without much support from her family members who are all deeply enmeshed in their own problems. In frustration she attemps suicide. Her struggle with religion is further complicated by her mother's "born again" attitude and an evil character named Moses who eerily uses Bible quotations for his own devilish purposes.
Being 16 is difficult at best and Hailey is trying to save her family to the possible end of sacrificing herself.
A well written thought provoking book with a fitting ending.