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Posted July 8, 2013
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Samantha Williams decided to move back home to Birmingham, Alabama, when both her parents died within a year. Assuring herself that her stay at late parents’ house was temporary until she finds herself an apartment, Samantha couldn't help but remember her childhood memories, the good as well as the bad ones.
This story does not hold its punches in terms of grief. At the very outset of the story the deaths of the narrator’s parents are presented. Her mother didn't survive a heart operation and his father died a lonely death in his own home. The plot is carried through by vivid portrayals of Samantha’s childhood memories. “Innocence Lost” has deep balance of poignancy and gloom, recalling the past of Birmingham itself, as a city that systematically segregated the whites and blacks in the 60s. One of the things I like best about the narration is the subtle way in which author Elizabeth Gregory allows readers to see how Samantha’s life and relationships are. I had mixed feelings about Samantha’s father, who is a family man. But using the ‘belt’ punishment just because young Samantha made her parents worried is a little out of line. Nevertheless, this proves that all the characters are believable that readers can connect with them emotionally. Credit should be given to Gregory for coming up with a truly complete and balanced story, and it is impossible not to be moved by a evocatively written novel.