Airplane-crash survivor Hadley’s motivations for attempting suicide are explored in chapters that alternate between flashbacks of her life and her current stay in a psychiatric facility.
Hadley’s pre-accident life seemed charmed—she’s the rich, white, academically successful senior captain of her high school lacrosse team. She’s also incredibly lucky to have survived the private plane crash that killed both her parents (her father was pilot). Even luckier, her adored 10-year-old sister, Lila, missed the flight. And yet, within hours of the crash, Hadley attempts suicide. This raises red flags for the crash investigator, who begins interviewing her friends to understand what might have happened during the flight. Through his interviews, Hadley’s pre-accident flashbacks, and her counseling sessions, a very different picture of her life emerges. Her father, who initially seems like an overactive helicopter parent, actually uses violence at home to control his daughters and his wife, who refuses to intervene. Motivated by a desire to protect Lila from their father’s attentions, Hadley has largely complied with his demands. That changes when she begins a forbidden romance destined to be discovered by her father. His clever punishment is to shift his controlling, violent attention toward Lila, prompting Hadley to consider extreme measures. Her palpable despair and desperation, conveyed in well-paced first-person chapters, increase the tension as the truth of the accident slowly emerges.
A tragic exploration of why people sometimes protect their abusers. (Fiction. 14-18)