Review: With Love from the Inside
Grace Bradshaw was convicted of killing her young son via Munchausen by Proxy and sentenced to death. She, along with her husband and young daughter Sophie, maintain her innocence. Her husband dies when Sophie is a senior in high school and, with her father gone, Sophie becomes convinced her mother is guilty and breaks off contact with her.
Sophie goes off to college and makes a life of her own. She lies to everyone about her past and marries a successful plastic surgeon. When her mother’s attorney tries to contact her, Sophie’s not sure she wants to hear what he has to say. Desperate to keep her past hidden from her husband, she agrees to meet with him and the two discover new evidence in her mother’s case. Will this new evidence help her mother or destroy Sophie’s current life?
WITH LOVE FROM THE INSIDE by Angela Pisel is a gut wrenching story of family and love told from a unique perspective. The point of view alternates between Grace and Sophie so readers feel how their tragic past impacted these two women. Grace has settled into a routine in prison, trying to make the best of her life there while Sophie has moved on with a new life. Keeping her past secret is important to Sophie and it proves to be a lot of work. When Grace’s attorney contacts Sophie, she’s not sure she wants to reconnect with her mother because she believes her horrific act impacted her life in awful ways. Still, Grace is her mother, so she feels a need to at least put the past behind her. New evidence makes her think she’s been wrong all these years.
I was hooked on WITH LOVE FROM THE INSIDE from the very start, wondering how Sophie could keep her past a secret and if Grace was really guilty. I found both women’s stories fascinating and there was enough tension in the story to make me eager to get back to it. I was jarred by the ending but, as I reflected on the book, I found it fitting. There’s a lot to think about in the book so I think it would make a great book club selection. Pick this book up if you enjoy books about mother-daughter relationships.
The audio version of WITH LOVE FROM THE INSIDE is read by Carol Mond and Andi Arndt and they both did a good job. However, given that the book is set in South Carolina, I do wish they would have used a narrator with a southern accent.