Say the Word
by Jeannine Garsee
Shawna Gallagher has always tried to be the perfect daughter, even when her life hasn't been so perfect. She gets perfect grades, has perfect attendance, and obeys her father's rules perfectly. She's also going to the right college (her father's), going into pre-med (to be a doctor, like her father), and dating the right boys (the ones her father approves).
But Shawna's entire world turns upside-down when the mother who left her for her lesbian partner when she was seven, dies of a sudden stroke. Her mother, a free-spirited photographer who hated rules and forms, left no new will for her partner and her partner's two boys, so Shawna's dad gets everything after her death.
As Shawna tries to understand the consequences of these new circumstances, she also comes to understand her father's hold on her life.
Can she face the secrets she's been keeping? Can she face the secrets that everyone else has been hiding from her?
Final thoughts: It feels like the author started with one idea and then ended with another. While this is a decent read, the ending feels almost like the collage that Shawna's working on throughout the book; it's a lot of ideas pasted together, but not in a cohesive fashion.