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Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite
A mother's reticence and secrets haunt a young woman throughout her life in the extraordinary literary novel, Alice Black by J. Schlenker. When Alice is six years old, her father and brother disappear on the same night. From the moment they vanish, Alice's mother withdraws from the world and Alice. After living a drab and lonely childhood, Alice leaves home to live on a primitive farm with two other couples. Five years later, Alice returns to her childhood home to care for her ailing mother. When her mother dies, Alice sells their home to a developer and restarts her life. Soon after moving into her new apartment, fate steps in and once again alters the course of Alice's life. A construction worker demolishing her childhood home uncovers something bizarre buried beneath her father's former shed. Did the discovery have anything to do with her father's disappearance? Had Alice's mother been hiding a horrifying secret all of these years?
Following the life of a young woman from childhood to motherhood, Alice Black by J. Schlenker is a poignant and memorable story. With captivating characters and an absorbing storyline, the story grabs the imagination from the first page. Beautifully written, the mystery behind Alice's father's disappearance is gradually revealed, teasing the reader along. Intrigued by Alice's remarkable experiences, I couldn't put the book down until I reached its satisfying and heartwarming conclusion. It is an extraordinary novel, and I recommend it to everyone who loves stories where ordinary people meet life's ups and downs with grace and courage.