Rose McKenna volunteers as a lunch mom in her daughter Melly’s school in order to keep an eye on Amanda, a mean girl who’s been bullying her daughter. Her fears come true when the bullying begins, sending Melly to the bathroom in tears. Just as Rose is about to follow after her daughter, a massive explosion goes off in the kitchen, sending the room into chaos. Rose finds herself faced with the horrifying decision of whether or not to run to the bathroom to rescue her daughter or usher Amanda to safety. She believes she has accomplished both, only to discover that Amanda, for an unknown reason, ran back into the school once out of Rose's sight. In an instance, Rose goes from hero to villain as the small community blames Amanda’s injuries on her. In the days that follow, Rose's life starts to fall to pieces, Amanda’s mother decides to sue, her marriage is put to the test, and worse, when her daughter returns to school, the bullying only intensifies. Rose must take matters into her own hands and get down to the truth of what really happened that fateful day in order to save herself, her marriage and her familyI've been a big fan of Lisa Scottoline since she writes her books in the Philadelphia area where I grew up. I had a chance to hear her speak at a library conference a few years ago and I was entranced by her easy going manner and humor.
While I'm not a mother of any children, I have taken care of children in different capacities over the years. Lisa tackles everyone's worst nightmare of having to decide whom to save in an emergency - someone you love or someone else. I was intrigued by the book's premise from the first chapter and as the mystery continued to unwind I couldn't wait to figure out what happened.
I felt the backstory of Rose's past was not needed and seemed to just fit into the expected mold of an innocent mom having a dark past. Some of the plot twists at the end were a little far fetched and it was a tad hard to believe that Rose could put together all the pieces herself. I was touched to see the relationship between Melly and her gifted teacher. It was also nice to see Melly and Amanda becoming closer friends at the end of the book.