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About As Wide as the Sky
“In the vein of Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes, As Wide as the Skyexplores the human component of tragedy.” –Mandy Mikulencak, author of The Last Suppers
“Characters as rich and indelible as the life they endure . . . A phenomenal read.”
–Internationally Bestselling Author Davis Bunn
Five a.m.: Amanda Mallorie wakes to the knowledge that her son Robbie is gone. And a new chapter of her own life must begin. She has spent four years as her son’s only support, desperately trying to understand the actions that landed him on death row and to change his fate. Now Amanda faces an even more difficult task–finding a way, and a reason, to move forward with her own life.
Before the tragedy that unfolded in a South Dakota mall, Robbie was just like other people’s sons or daughters. Sometimes troubled, but sweet and full of goodness too. That’s the little boy Amanda remembers as she packs up his childhood treasures and progress reports, and discovers a class ring she’s never seen before. Who does it belong to and why did Robbie have it in his possession? So begins a journey that will remind her not only of who Robbie used to be, but of a time when she wasn’t afraid–to talk to strangers, to help those in need, to reach out. Robbie’s choices can never be unmade, but there may still be time for forgiveness and trust to grow again. For a future as wide as the sky.
I rarely read the back of books before I start reading, so this book was a surprise to me from the very beginning. I’ve never read any book quite like this one before. I really liked it.
This one has many characters. I loved the way each of them is able to relate their own perspective about Robbie Mallorie. The way each of their lives was intertwined with many of the others, without them knowing it, was a stroke of brilliance by the author. I loved figuring out just how everyone was connected.
This book is about a hard subject. Robert Mallorie was a young man who walked into a shopping mall right before Christmas and shot a bunch of people. Many died, and many were injured. Something this book pointed out was the guilt felt by those still living, both those who knew the shooter and those who survived the shooting, when their friends didn’t. That really touched me and made me think.
I really liked Amanda, Robbie’s mom. I felt terrible for her. She feels a lot more guilt than any one else. What could she have done differently. And everyone who finds out who she is persecutes her just a little bit. A lot of them treat her as if she was guilty by association to Robbie, even though she had nothing to do with his choices. It gets to the point in the book where she doesn’t tell people her name, or she uses her maiden name as her last name. I found it sad that she couldn’t be proud to be who she was, Amanda, Robbie’s mom, Melissa’s mom, grandma…
I also liked the way Amanda thought of his mental illness. Mental illness seems to be rampant right now, and it’s not something that gets talked about a lot. Although that seems to be getting better.
One of the very first things I noticed about this one is that everyone has a countdown on their chapters. It was really a fun thing to read and try to figure out just what each was counting from. They each have their own things. None of them had experienced exactly the same thing as any of the others.
I loved this book! It’s not something like you’ve ever read. But you’ll enjoy the story and it will make you think.
I was sent a copy of As Wide as the Sky as a gift from the author. All opinions are my own.
Where to find Jessica Pack
What to read after As Wide as the Sky