Melanie Thorne’s HAND ME DOWN is now available in paperback.

Bookmagnet's Blog

Hand Me Down by Melanie Thorne (Plume; 336 pages; $16).


A child’s first providers and protectors are his or her parents.  Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work.  In her powerful, provocative, and semi-autobiographical debut novel, Hand Me Down, Melanie Thorne chronicles the epic struggle of a teenage girl suffering from neglect and abuse,  determined to protect her sister at any cost.  Hand Me Down feels so real that it reads like a memoir.  Thorne’s story left me indignant and emotionally spent, which is proof of the author’s skilled writing and adept characterizations.

Sometimes family can let us down and hurt us more than anyone else can.  The people who are supposed to be taking care of 14-year-old Elizabeth “Liz” Reid and her younger sister, Jaime, have failed miserably.  The girls’ parents are divorced.  Their father, who used to beat their mother, is a drunk.

Their mother…

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