Fifth Born by Zelda Lockhart
from back of book:
When Odessa Blackburn is three years old, she sees her grandmother for the last time, and so begins her story as the fifth born of eight children in a troubled family. Molested by her father, Odessa is also the sole witness to a murder he commits. Her mother guards both secrets and joins her husband in ostracizing their fifth born from the rest of her siblings.
As Odessa grows, so do her troubles. She ultimately separates herself from her parents and siblings into a new reality that prompts memory and revelation. her choices for survival provoke an outcome that will forever alter the carefully maintained lies of her childhood.
The novel was written beautifully. It is somewhat fast paced in that I ead it in two days. The subject matter is sad and distrubing. The way the adult characters chose to treat children is just appalling. Odessa is subject to constant physical, mential, and emotionally abused from all sides. A drunken father who does not hestitate to show just how much he hates her. A mother who ignores the truth in an effort to stand by her man.
However, I did not and could not feel completely sympathy for her. As a child of three she was indeed a cry-baby, I could understand that though being that she was only three. But as she got older and continued to make excuses for the way people treated her angered me. Her constant neediness for her mother love disguised me. And her inability to fight back turned her into a punk in my mind. Everyone survives tragedies in their own way and this is how Lockhart chose to have Odessa survive her but it just could not respect this kid. Her plight was a harsh one to bear but I just could not get behind her 100%. It was this feeling about the character that prevented me from giving this book 5 stars. On your tbr list of five this should be #2