Wednesday, August 24, 2016

REVIEW: With Love from the Inside by Angela Pisel

Title: With Love from the Inside
Author: Angela Pisel
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Release Date: August 9/2016
Acquired: e-ARC sent by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

Angela Pisel’s poignant debut explores the complex relationship between a mother and a daughter, and their quest to discover the truth and whether or not love can prevail—even from behind bars.

Grace Bradshaw knows the exact minute she will die. On death row for murdering her infant son, her last breath will be taken on February 15 at 12:01 a.m. Eleven years, five months, and twenty-seven days separate her from the last time she heard her precious daughter’s voice and the final moment she’d heard anyone call her Mom. Out of appeals, she can focus on only one thing—reconnecting with her daughter and making sure she knows the truth.

Secrets lurk behind Sophie Logan’s big house and even bigger bank account. Every day when she kisses her husband good-bye, she worries her fabricated life is about to come crumbling down. No one knows the unforgivable things her mother did to tear her family apart—not her husband, who is a prominent plastic surgeon, or her “synthetic” friends who live in her upscale neighborhood.

Grace’s looming execution date forces Sophie to revisit the traumatic events that haunted her childhood. When she returns to her hometown, she discovers new evidence about her baby brother William’s death seventeen years ago—proof that might set her mother free but shatter her marriage forever. Sophie must quickly decide if her mother is the monster the prosecutor made her out to be or the loving mother she remembers—the one who painted her toenails glittery pink and plastered Post-it notes with inspiring quotes (“100 percent failure rate if you don't try”) all over Sophie’s bathroom mirror—before their time runs out.


Before you read this novel, put your mother on your speed dial if you haven't already, and have your phone READY. You've been forewarned. 

With Love from the Inside will tie your heart into knots, and prod relentlessly at your tear ducts. Told from two perspectives, this narrative follows the life of a mother on death row, convicted of murdering her infant son, and a daughter that has done nothing but attempt a life of moving forward. It is a fast-paced story line that will have you begging for "just TWO more minutes! PLEASE canwestoptheworldforONEsecond." I promise you that your appreciation for time will be forever changed.

Sophie Logan has been harboring eleven years worth of hate for a mother that Sophie believes has done the unthinkable, all while Grace Bradshaw holds on to the hope that her daughter will find the space in her heart to fit forgiveness, and faith. When both mother and daughter become aware of a dreaded final date, there is a rush to recount memories, to question truths, and to bare souls. Angela Pisel strung together some extremely beautiful lines in this novel, just enough to hit you square in the soul, but otherwise, there was not much literary flare to make note of. 

Pisel wrote With Love from the Inside with an urgency to get to the conclusion, so while the intended punch in the gut was achieved, the road to get there wasn't paved with in-depth character development or lengthy back stories. It was the kind of narrative that allowed you to easily place yourself in the main characters' shoes, to reminisce on your own childhood memories about someone who may have loved YOU beyond control. Someone you took for granted. Someone who has now been given an exact life expiry date. It was devastating to think about. And I was devastated while reading the majority of these pages. But the end message was SO strong, it would be a shame to miss out on the much-needed perspective it lends. It definitely did that for me!

Now...I'm off to call MY mother.

Recommended for Fans of: Contemporary, Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult, The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld (my review here).



I love to write. When I don’t have my laptop or iPhone in front of me, I transcribe the pages of my day-to-day existence in dramatic detail that I (usually) keep confined to the few inches that live between the sides of my mostly straightened hair.

I decided to write my first novel after my obsession with TV trials led me to research women on death row. I didn’t find what I thought I’d find—how people end up where they end up continues to mesmerize me.

I was born in the Midwest, but have set up homes across the country after marrying my love who happened to be an Army physician. We have chosen to call North Carolina home.



A huge thank-you to G. P. Putnam's Sons for providing an eARC of this book via  for review.

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