Mixed-race Mary B. Addison has lived in a group home since her release from “baby jail,” where she was held for six years. The other girls are like Mary—convicted of violent crimes—but she is the one they call “psycho.” Mary committed the most heinous crime of the group: When she was 9 years old, she killed the white baby her mother was babysitting. Allegedly.
Mary wants the opportunity to rebuild her life unfettered by her reputation. She is extremely smart, and wants to go to college and be a teacher. But because of the nature of her crime, many doors are closed to her. She can’t attend regular public school, and a career that would put her in contact with children is out of the question. Now that she has a loving boyfriend and a baby on the way, it’s even more important that she convince her mother to tell the whole truth about that night. But Momma isn’t trustworthy, and Mary is reluctant to divulge details.
With Mary’s first-person narration interspersed with excerpts from true crime books about her case and transcripts of interviews with detectives and doctors, Tiffany D. Jackson’s debut novel unfolds in meticulously layered detail. Mary and Momma are fascinating characters at the center of a sophisticated and morally complex plot. Though the unsettling outcome may disturb some readers, Allegedly is a mind-boggling story sure to entertain young thriller enthusiasts.