My Name is Venus Black by Heather Lloyd

Venus has a bright future and a dream of studying the stars until she commits a crime that will send her to jail for 5 years. While incarcerated, Venus’ brother, Leo, who has a developmental disability, goes missing. Plagued by her choices and her helplessness to finding her brother, Venus struggles to make amends with her life and her mother. Once released, Venus just wants to move forward and try to live as “normal” - but it doesn’t seem like escaping the past is possible, or even what it seems cracked up to be.

I’m not sure what I was expecting this novel to be, but it wasn’t this. I know I have mentioned in other reviews that I thoroughly enjoy when a book takes on multiple perspectives, and I do appreciate that. I found that the way it was executed in this novel threw me for a loop, and I was often questioning whose perspective I was reading from. Aside from the confusion, I really enjoyed the depth of getting to know the characters that this novel provided.

The complicated relationship between Venus and her mother, Inez, was my favorite aspect of the book. From the events of Venus’ crime, their relationship is strained, but the strain runs deeper and is not a direct result of the crime itself, at least not that crime. As Inez has had years to dwell on her actions, or lack thereof, she is searching for ways to make amends with Venus, to have her daughter back. On the flip side, Venus has had the time to continuously replay the lack of support that brought her to her breaking point. For Venus, it might just be too late to truly have that mother-daughter bond.

 

***Thank you to NetGalley, LibraryThing Early Reviewers, and Random House for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my review.