Meredith thought she had 9 years of freedom from her abuse father... but the system only gave her 3 years. In those 3 little years, she never got over the abuse suffered by the hands of her father. She never forgot the emotional damage. She'll never forget that little gold baseball slapping against her skin throughout the entirety of the sexual abuse. However, she found close friends she could trust and confide in. She found Andy, a boy who was also abused by Meredith's father. She found a women, desperate to get revenge, even if it meant waiting for God to drive her plan. She found the officer her arrested her father and he looked after her in so many ways.
Charles was an opportunity sex offender. He molested children of any age, gender, even his own daughter. He's not supposed to be left alone with her under any circumstances, yet he finds a way to make that happen. He needs Chirp to "forgive and forget" the sexual abuse he pushed on her..
And then there's Andy. You can't help but hate to love him, or love to hate. There's really no inbetween. He's paralyzed from the waist down because of an accident in high school. But he too was abused by Charles and finds a form of solace in Meredith. They need each other to survive. They have to be strong together. Meredith needs closure whereas Andy needs support.
What I found most troubling about this book was how comfortably Meredith was being nude with Andy. As a victim/survivor of sexual abuse, I expected her to be more closed off. I was expecting her to be strong but relapse when things got rough.
The other issue I have is that this book was about rape. I have read several books with this topic, but this one was not like any of the others. This almost ignored the abuse so much that all you could think about was the abuse. It was in no way graphic, which I almost think is necessary to get a point across a topic like this. You can't just hint around and expect readers to see the big picture when you're only giving them small flashes.
Finally, the God factor. It was strange and quite frankly, out of place. This woman was so obsessed with religion and spirits and healing that she believed that was the only way to get her son out of a wheelchair. She believed the only way to save Meredith was to pray for her. I understand the metaphors tied to this, but I never would have put all the pieces together until Meredith spelled it out on literally the very last page.....