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I watched in awe as Miz Rosa stopped those men on the bus with her clear, calm “no” and I thought about that word. What if I said no? What if I refused to follow the path these White folks wanted for us? What if I kept this precious baby?
Montgomery, Alabama, 1955
On a cold December evening, Mattie Banks packs a suitcase and leaves her family home. Sixteen years old and pregnant, she has already made the mistake that will ruin her life and disgrace her widowed mother. Boarding the 2857 bus, she sits with her case on her lap, hoping that the driver will take her away from disaster. Instead, Mattie witnesses an act of bravery by a woman named Rosa Parks that changes everything. But as Mattie strives to turn her life around, the dangers that first led her to run are never far away. Forging a new life in a harsh world at constant risk of exposure, Mattie will need to fight to keep her baby safe.
Atlanta, Georgia, present day
Ashlee Turner is going home. Her relationship in ruins, her career held back by prejudice, she is returning to the family who have always been her rock. But Ashlee’s home is not the safe haven she remembers. Her beloved grandmother is dying and is determined to share her story before she leaves…
When Ashlee finds a stack of yellowing letters hidden in her nana’s closet, she can’t help the curiosity that compels her to read, and she uncovers an old secret that could wreak havoc on her already grieving family. As she tries to make sense of what she has learned, Ashlee faces a devastating choice: to protect her loved ones from the revelations, or honor her grandmother’s wishes and follow the path to the truth, no matter where it may lead.
For readers of The Help, Orphan Train and Before We Were Yours comes a beautiful and heartbreaking novel about redemption, family secrets and the spirit of survival found at the hardest time.
A Note From the Publisher
*** THIS IS AN UNCORRECTED ADVANCED REVIEW COPY ***
Readers love The Girl at the Back of the Bus:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Where do I start? For the first time, I am left speechless after reading a book. Speechless because the narrative just grabbed me by my core… I laughed, but mostly cried. A must-read for lovers of women’s historical fiction. Five stars.” Goodreads reviewer
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This quickly stole my heart. A truly inspiring story for women everywhere. Of not being taken for granted for your gender, race, beliefs or whatever. I loved Ashlee and especially Mattie. This drew me in and I didn’t want it to end. If you read one book this year to inspire you… make it this one – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Wow!” Nicki’s Book Blog
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This is such a beautiful written, educational, heartbreaking, amazing book that I honestly think will stay with me for the whole of my life! The world needs to read this book.” NetGalley reviewer
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I was hooked from the very first page and finished this book in two days! Be prepared to laugh, cry, and find that your mouth is unexpectedly dropping open! This vividly written work of historical fiction is a MUST-READ!” Goodreads reviewer
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This is an exceptional book!… I loved both main characters and felt invested in their lives… Will stay with me for a long time.” Goodreads reviewer
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This book, I was completely blown away by this beautiful story… I felt so many emotions whilst reading this story. I laughed, cried, got angry, forgave, loved and so many more… I honestly did not want her story to end. Thank you for putting this book in front of me. I am so very grateful… Will stay with me forever.” Book Reviews For U
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Compulsively readable… I couldn’t put it down… The characters’ relationships and interwoven, fast-moving narratives kept me turning the page well past my bedtime.” Stacks and Stitches
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This book is brilliant!… Incredibly captivating. I was hooked… I read it into the early hours… Heart-warming and heartbreaking in abundance… tears were shed… If you love a powerful, exceptionally told novel with strong and emotive themes that will have you clenching your fists, this is it! Excellent top read!” Bestselling author Carla Kovach
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “The characters are beautifully written and I came to love them within the first few pages and was rooting for them all the way to the end. At times I wanted to stop reading because I just wanted the experience to go on for longer.” Weekend Book Club
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “What a brilliant book this is! I absolutely loved this story and found it difficult to put down. The characters were real and vibrant. Some infinitely more likeable than others! I loved the relationships these women created with their families, their partners and their friends. I wanted to sit under mister moonlight and watch the sun set with all of them. Wouldn’t say no to trying those tea cakes too…” NetGalley reviewer
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Heartbreaking.” Goodreads reviewer
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Wonderful.” NetGalley reviewer