Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favorite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.
My choice for this week is:
The Word Game by Steena Holmes
Published November 3, 2015 by Lake Union Publishing
For overprotective parent Alyson Ward, any time her daughter, Lyla, is out of sight is reason to panic. So it’s a big step for her when she lets Lyla attend a sleepover at her cousin’s house. Comforted by the knowledge that her sister, Tricia, is the chaperone, Alyson does the one thing she never thought possible: she lets go and trusts that her daughter will be safe.
But Alyson’s sense of peace is short-lived. When Lyla comes home the next morning, she reveals something that could tear apart not only their family but also the entire community. Now, Alyson and Tricia must confront their painful shared past as they come together to help a little girl who they fear might be harboring terrible secrets similar to their own. Will the sisters be strong enough to face their demons in order to protect the child, even if it means telling their most private truths?
I’ve been a fan of Steena Holmes for a long time. I especially enjoyed her “Finding Emma” series and the novel “The Memory Child”. I read this novel a few years ago and it’s another one that has stayed with me.
Alyson Ward’s family members all think she is a “helicopter parent”, extremely overprotective and constantly hovering nearby. I can see how they would think that, but I can also understand why Alyson is so overprotective.
When Alyson gives in and allows her daughter Lyla to go to a sleepover, it’s a big deal for both her and Lyla. The sleepover is at her sister, Tricia’s house which makes Alyson feel confident that things will go fine. She even finds that she’s able to enjoy the child-free evening.
But when Lyla comes home the next day, she tells her mother about things that happened at the sleepover….things that just might tear their family apart.
“But the issue here isn’t a ‘she said versus she said’ one.”
“Of course it is. It’s a word game after all. Who’s telling the truth? Who’s lying? Who’s hiding something?”
I loved the relationship that Alyson has with her daughter. Lyla knew her mother would stand by her no matter what. The dynamics of the rest of the family are complicated. There are issues from the past that have never been dealt with.
Steena Holmes writes about relationships extremely well and handles the difficult subjects with sensitivity. Although the main issue in this book is upsetting, she is able to get across what happened without going into a lot of unnecessary detail.
In my opinion, this was an emotional but very well written and important read. I look forward to more from Steena Holmes.