Book Review 'The Bullet' by Mary Louise Kelly

On the surface, Caroline Cashion is gorgeous, smart, and successful; dig a little deeper and find she is a bit too isolated, enjoys sex without strings, and fears commitment. 

Adopted at the age of three by a well-to-do family in Washington DC, Caroline remembers nothing about her birth parents or for that matter, the tragedy in Georgia that erased them from her life.

However, as in life, fiction has a funny way of making us remember, especially, things we would rather forget. Like everyone, she remembers, but Caroline’s past returns with a vengeance that threatens to destroy her or at least the comfortable life she enjoys as a French literature professor at Georgetown University.

It doesn’t take long for things to change; events begin to roll into motion when a nagging pain in Caroline’s wrist prompts her doctor to order a MRI. Upon the completion of the procedure, the technician reveals the unexpected news about a bullet lodged in the back of Caroline’s neck.  Without any evidence of how it got there, the strange circumstances attract media attention, which in turn, alerts her parents’ killer and threatens to reveal secrets surrounding their deaths.

Soon, Caroline takes matters into her own hands; one might even say, she snaps.
Throughout the story, there are subtle hints suggesting Caroline subconsciously or genetically mimics certain behavioral similarities exhibited by her birth mother. Barring disease, certainly, the topic of personality formation is interesting to ponder in fiction or in reality.

Ultimately, as a society, in relation to adoption, discussions can become destructive. Each day, in the United States, more than 400,000 children are in foster care, many of these youngsters eventually become available for adoption. It is the hope of many, in these situations. that the children can learn and create their own destiny. Much of their success relies on the belief that they can a concept that often counts on supporting ideas and rhetoric.

Although, Mary Louise Kelly handles the subject without much ado, and is especially considerate of the dynamics within Caroline’s adopted family, it is a point that deserves some clarification. We each create our own future.

Written by former NPR correspondent, Mary Louise Kelly, the story is interesting and kept my attention, however, I would not say it was heart-pounding.

The Bullet, published by Simon and Schuster, is available in hardback, paperback, eBook, and audio on Amazon and other book retailers.

Review by Sammy Sutton


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