A grabbing and poignant family drama about love, forgiveness, redemption and moving on.
SUMMARY Venus Black is 13-years-old, a normal teenager, and a good student with a love for astronomy. But she commits a shocking crime that tears her family apart and puts them all in the media spotlight. Venus refuses to talk about what happened and why, other than to blame her mother. She is ultimately sent to prison. Shortly after her arrest, Venus’s little brother Leo who is developmentally disabled also goes missing. When Venus is released from prison at 19, and she starts over in Seattle with a new identity. She rents a room, gets a job as a waitress and helps take care of her landlord’s nine-year-old precocious niece, Piper, who makes Venus think about Leo. She misses Leo tremendously and is frustrated by not knowing whether he is dead or alive. Venus’s mother reaches out to Venus to make amends for events leading up to the crime, but Venus refuses to forgive her mother for her lack of support and her inability to find Leo. When new information about Leo’s disappearance comes to light the two must put aside differences to extend the search.
REVIEW My Name is Venus Black is an engaging chronicle of a family torn apart by a shocking crime and it’s aftermath. Venus, with her wild black curly hair and astute mind is endearing, as are all of the younger characters in this captivating story. Heather Lloyd has skillfully crafted a poignant, thoughtful and moving story that grabs your attention from the beginning—in the police station. With superb writing, and unique characters that propel the narrative, this gem of a debut novel is bound to entertain young and old alike.
Thanks to LibraryThing, The Dial Press and Heather Lloyd for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. Published February 27, 2018.