Understand parentage, but you are your own person and not defined by parents.
When Willa was quite young, her mother left an abusive marriage. She remarried a kind man whose wealthy ex-wife provides his daughters with a rich and privileged life. It is as if Willa is a second class citizen within her own family. On the surface, she appears to take this in stride. One day, she learns her biological father, who she hardly remembers, has murdered his new wife and their daughters. Now, he is heading for Willa and her mother! Willa sets out to learn who her father was and comes to terms with his life and in doing so, understands her life.
Pfeffer’s writing is as captivating as in her Life As We Knew It series. She knows how to draw the reader in by unfolding the story and creating suspense. The murders are brutal, but not described in such detail as to overly disturb the squeamish reader. Be advised – Willa responds to the pressures she feels to be a perfect child by cutting. I’m not sure this aspect of Willa’s personality needed to be added. There is enough plot in the book without this side story, plus, Willa doesn’t get the professional help she needs to overcome the urge to cut.