Atria, July 2003, 25.00, 352 pp.
After killing her husband, Grace Leshansky plea bargained a five to fifteen year sentence for manslaughter and was released after seven years. During her prison time she pushed all her friends away except for Sheilah Donlan who not only picked her up from the penitentiary but also got her an apartment and a job in her headhunting business. Now Grace has to adjust to life on the outside knowing that she killed the man who took away her livelihood, her father her and her self-respect.
In the first weeks of freedom, Grace realizes her parole officer is a battered wife who hates her, makes friends with a con man like her dead husband, and reconnects with her first love Michael, whose father is indirectly responsible for the mess her life is in. Michael's dad, serving a life sentence, is also the only man who can help her find the father she wants to see one last time.
Caroline Slate lives up to the promise she's shown in her debut novel THE HOUSE ON SPRUCEWOOD LANE with her second novel, a powerful work about a woman who is driven to murder, but somehow hooks the reader's sympathy even before all the facts are revealed. The protagonist's relationship with her friends, her lover, and her father ring so true that the audience will shed tears for a woman who was deliberately pushed to her limit by an expert manipulator and brilliant con man. A FRACTURED TRUTH is a compelling powerful story.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner