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Book Review: ‘When We Were Worthy’ A novel by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

Tragedy and secrecy often come together, whether for good or bad. Ignorance is not always bliss as deep-seated secrets only delay healing. In When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen we are introduced to a small Georgia town and it inhabitants.

The school plays a big part in the lives of those who live there, and sports are the glue that holds it together. So, on the night of a big win, everyone is horrified when three girls from the cheerleading squad are killed in a collision. The boy who had been driving the vehicle that struck their car, is held responsible for their deaths.

There is a very big question revolving around why, Leah, the forth cheerleader was not with them. As rumors and grief threaten to overwhelm the families of all involved, secrets begin to leak to the surface. As parents such as Marglyn, mom to one of the cheerleaders, and Darcy, mom of the boy standing accused, at opposite sides of the spectrum, try to find answers, town members find themselves taking sides.

Why wasn’t Leah, there, she has her own secrets, and why are there now rumors swirling around Ava, a substitute teacher? How can the truth help to set free the hurt and anger threatening to tear the town apart?

Whalen has taken us into the heart of small town America and shown us both the best and the worst that can happen during tragedy. Torn from the headlines of many stories we hear on the news, this is a sad and tragic work that speaks to the damage that can occur with gossip and secrets and the lengths some will go to in an effort to hide their past.

You care about the characters and their flaws and secrets are as real as those of the people you interact with daily. It is the tragedy that creates the danger, and the secrets that someone is trying to hide that make it all so senseless.

If you enjoy drama and suspense, you will find this a great read. When We Were Worthy will enhance your library and be a great find for those who enjoy drama and emotions, taking you into the thought and feelings that often result from tragedy. Whalen also brings light to the demons of youth and helps us to understand the dangers that face our children as they try to reach their potential.

About Leslie Wright

Leslie Wright is an author and blogger in the Northwest.

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