The Clock Strikes Midnight is a well-written and fascinating story with plenty of twists and revelations that will have your mind wondering what’s next while questioning what has been revealed. Joan C. Curtis presents an entertaining and dramatic journey into the lives of two sisters with a tragic and complicated past that they wish they could forget but can’t move beyond.
Warning there are some sensitive topics that are discussed in the storyline involving things pertaining to sexual abuse, abortion, and post partum depression.
Janie has been diagnosed with Cancer and her doctor has given her 3 months to live. With the reality of death on the horizon Janie decides it’s time to deal with her past and put some things she’s been putting off in order. She has a list she needs to complete before her time runs out and that means she needs to go back home to Atlanta to face her demons, to face her stepfather Ralph who killed her mother. It’s been 20 years since she ran away from Atlanta leaving her past behind her but she has a plan. Once she’s back home she ‘s going to contact her sister Marlene and convince her estranged older sister that it’s in both their best interests if they work together. However, Janie’s plan doesn’t go as smooth as she thought it would. Marlene isn’t exactly in a good place. She’s harboring anger and bitterness over Janie disappearing on her 20 years ago, her marriage is in shambles and she’s turning into a depressive and angry alcoholic like their mother.
Most of the characters in the story aren’t exactly likeable nor are they perfect. They make mistakes and do some rather selfish things but it’s their raw and relatable imperfections that make them compelling and as a reader I couldn’t help but want to delve deeper into the psychology of each character and pick away at their misguided attempts. I was won over by Marlene and Janie’s determination and inner strength. The two are complex characters with layer upon layer of secrets and emotions that once pulled back reveal moments in their childhood that shaped them as adults. I don’t want to reveal too much of what happens so I don’t take away from the insights and nuances that build up the mysterious reasons behind Janie’s plans.
The storyline transitions between the past and the present and between different points of view from Janie’s perspective, to Marlene’s, to their mother Eloise who as a teenager went through something that would one day shape Marlene and Janie’s future. The transitioning was done smoothly and in a way that allowed the story to reveal itself in a gripping manner adding to the intensity of the plot. The book was suspenseful and dramatic with touches of loss, tragedy, adversity, love and family unity.
Copy provided for review. Reviewed by Joy for Crystal's Many Reviewers