And Don’t Look Back

S. & S. Audio. Oct. 2023. 931p. $19.99. ISBN 9781797166957.
Gr 9 Up–Seventeen-year-old Harlow and her mother Cora have always only had each other, constantly changing identities and locations. Cora’s latest “We have to go” sends Harlow “dismantling what passes for a life,” and the pair are driving away in less than 10 minutes. But this time, tragedy—via truck—strikes, and Cora dies, but not before telling Harlow about the safety deposit box in which Harlow will find precious pieces of her missing past: a house deed, $15,729, and photos of never-known family. Can she (safely) go home? Wheeler is Harlow, adroitly capturing the distrust of a child mature before her time. Woods has lesser but more vocally varied airtime smoothly articulating the “Before” chapters of pre-running Cora, her sisters and their disappeared mother, secret loves, and desperate decisions.
VERDICT In interwoven tandem, Wheeler and Woods deftly unravel Barrow’s eerie mother/daughter thriller.

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