On a beautiful fall evening, in the middle of a game of hide-and-seek, five-year-old Bobby Clark is kidnapped by his estranged father, a shiftless man with a history of domestic violence and drug abuse. Bobby's twin brother Ricky watches, terrified, from his hiding place behind the bougainvillea, while mother Tabby, who also struggles with addiction, lies inebriated on the living room floor.
Bobby isn't seen by his loved ones again until a fateful morning 25 years later, when video of his arrest dominates the morning news. He has been charged with the murder of his father, but before the trial can begin, he manages to escape.
As Tabby and Ricky absorb the news of Bobby's return and subsequent escape, Tabby is convinced he'll come home to the quiet Florida street from which he was taken so long ago. But when events begin to spiral out of control, she's left to wonder: is a child born to be evil, or shaped to be evil? And in the end, when it's time to make amends, does it really matter?
©2015 Melinda Clayton (P)2016 Melinda Clayton
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Norma Miles on 31-05-18

Guilt is a powerful motivator

Michelle Babb is an excellent narrator, her warm pleasant voice not only providing flawless reading with a natural intonation but also conveying emotion, be it sorrow or humour, sadness or laughter. She has the capacity to bring every protagonist to life, each given their own voice and three dimensional reality. In this book she excels beyond her own high standards, every character nuanced, individual and real.

The story is told throughout in the first person but switches between the points of view of a mother, Tabby, her son Richie, and Von, her neighbour, employer and friend. Tabby had grown up in the dubious care of social services, meeting and becoming addicted to cocaine with the to-be-father when released to the world as an adult, but getting herself clean when she found she was pregnant. But after giving birth she started to drink, sometimes heavily. The couple split up and she looked after her twin boys alone until, when they were five, one of the boys, Bobby, was kidnapped by his father and never found.
All of this background is revealed in flashbacks and rememberances as the book commences twenty five years later when Tabby sees the rolling news report on T.V. that her long lost baby boy, Bobby, had been arrested for the murder of his father but without any details surrounding the how or the why. Although having been a good, and sober, mother to her remaining twin son, Richie, since Bobby was taken, she had never stopped longing for her stolen boy, nor forgiven herself for losing him.
Now he is found again, albeit in difficult circumstances, and his reappearance will change the carefully constructed lives of mother, son Richie, and her closest friend forever.

Making Amends is a powerfully written thriller, not fast paced action but instead a totally absorbing tale of guilt, introspection, fragility, and the ever present what-will-happen?. It is well constructed with three dimensional characters whose very real lives are made all the more so, as previously mentioned, by the excellent performance of the narrator. A perfect pairing of book and reader - and highly recommended.

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5 out of 5 stars
By hellkatjen on 15-06-16

Packs a mean punch, unputdownable

I stayed up to the wee small hours listening to this. A tale of lives filled with hope and positive moving forward: well recognisable by 12 steppers, as the title makes clear. Everyone's doing their best to get thru troubled lives; until the arrival of the long lost sheep to the fold. But would he be a white sheep or a black sheep after all this time? the story really does pull you along, you want to be thrown headlong into the lives of these people. Michelle Babb narrates with an easy-to-listen-to slow southern drawl that you could listen to long past the end of the story. I was vaguely troubled at the end, mainly because I wanted the story to go on and never end.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By med c on 05-08-16

Making Amends

Any additional comments?

This book is a tale of dysfunctional families, altering between present and past. There is plenty of mystery and suspense from the start to finish. I had to listen and hard to pause because I want to go on and on

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Melstamps on 31-03-16

Heartbreaking, Interesting

Where does Making Amends rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Any additional comments?

When I finished Making Amends by Melinda Clayton, I found myself sitting and trying to process the book I had just completed; I even discussed it with my husband. This heartbreaking but interesting book is an unflinching look at how not all lives are happy, how those who should be the most loving and protective of someone can fall far short, and how the fallout from substance abuse can last a lifetime. Tabby Clark spent her childhood first with a drug-addled mother and then in a series of foster homes.  Ultimately she ends up strung out on drugs, married to a mean, similarly addicted man, and pregnant with twins. The pregnancy is the catalyst for her to get off the drugs, though she struggles with alcohol until the boys are five, at which time her ex-husband kidnaps one of the twins. Tabby spends the next 25 years yearning and grieving for the lost twin, sometimes overlooking the remaining twin. In a case of "be careful what you wish for," Tabby is reunited with the lost twin.

The story is told from three distinctly different perspectives: that of Tabby, her best friend Vonn, and her son, Ricky. The different perspectives really flesh out the not just Tabby, but other characters in the book. Ben is an especially appealing; wise and warm.

I found the book to be engrossing and I kept my earbuds in more often than usual in an effort to learn how the story would be resolved.

Michelle Babb did an excellent job of bringing the characters to life and giving each a clear voice. Her narration added depth to the story.

I recommend this book, not only because I found it interesting, but because I found it enlightening; it brought a world that was previously unfamiliar to me to life. Four and a half stars.

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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