I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.
I loved both the premise and the cover of this book. Marylou Ahearn is ready to finally get her revenge on Dr. Wilson Spriggs after 50 years. She assumes an identity (straight out of a Hollywood B movie) and moves into Dr. Spriggs' Florida neighborhood to put her plan into action. In the 1950's, when Marylou was a young woman pregnant with her first child, she was given a radioactive cocktail as part of a government experiment on radiation. She did not give her consent and had no knowledge that this was being done to her. As a result, her child died young of bone cancer and Marylou has been plagued with a lifetime of health problems. At 77, she will finally get her revenge on the doctor who ran the experiments, Wilson Spriggs. When Marylou finally finds Dr. Spriggs, she is taken aback to find out that he is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. She amends her plan and decides to take revenge on Wilson's extended family and begins befriending the family members in order to gain their trust. As most revenge plans do, this has has unexpected consequences on everyone involved.
This was an incredibly readable book. I loved the idea of an older woman trying to get her revenge after 50 years. The whole government radiation experiment provided an interesting backdrop for the story. Marylou's revenge plan was a bit thin but I loved all the characters. They were all very interesting people with well-fleshed out stories. However, the story fell apart towards the end of the book. The ending was unbelievable and everything was tidied up too nicely. Plus........
.......the use of a youth pastor as a secret sex offender seems pretty cliched at this point.
*END OF SPOILER ALERT*
I would have enjoyed the book much more if it hadn't been for the silly ending. I am going to recommend this one as a beach read. Light, fluffy and very readable but with a ridiculous ending that kind of ruins the whole book.
BOTTOM LINE: Recommended with reservations. A fun read but the ending is far-fetched and unbelievable. I wish Stuckey-French had taken the book in a different direction. The premise was so good but the execution left a little to be desired.