Review of DARK AUGUST by Katie Tallo

Loneliness, Lies, and a Dog Named Levi

Cover of Dark August

In her debut novel DARK AUGUST, author and screenwriter Katie Tallo delves into the life of August “Gus” Monet, a young woman who’d lost everything when she was eight, and now at 20, is trying to find answers.

Early one morning, Gus’s phone rings—it’s her Great-Grammie Rose’s nurse, telling her she must come home. Rose is dead.

Home is a place Gus hasn’t had since she was eight, and even then, she and her police officer single mother, Shannon, weren’t close. Shannon was preoccupied with an investigation—Gus had always been insanely jealous of the little girl wearing a ballerina outfit in the picture taped to her mother’s office wall. Shannon had even given Gus a puppy to appease her, but she wasn’t interested in a peace offering.

“Most nights that summer ended with Gus screaming that she hated the stupid dog and she wished her mother was dead.” Not long after, her wish came true.

When Shannon died in a car crash, the police took eight-year-old Gus to live with her Great-Grammie Rose, who shipped her off to boarding school when she was 10 with the feeble excuse of giving Gus “a proper young lady’s education.” But Gus didn’t want to be a proper young lady— “she wanted her mother and pizza nights.” She grew up alone at a school of strangers.

Read the rest of my review in The Big Thrill.

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