Gallery Books

In Mary Louise Kelly's latest novel, The Bullet, Caroline Cashion's life unravels after learning a bullet is lodged near the base of her skull. Stunned by this revelation, Caroline wonders why her adoptive parents never revealed this fact.

After learning of her biological parents' murders, Caroline travels to Atlanta, Georgia to satisfy her many unanswered questions. Kelly writes her journey with such emotion and sensitivity, the reader can't help but champion Caroline's journey into her past. Kelly offers the reader insight into why and how decisions made in Caroline's behalf impacted her choices and life today.

I truly enjoyed Caroline's musings throughout the novel. For instance, once her adoptive parents confirm the truth, Caroline's thoughts in the early part of the novel are simultaneously brilliant and touching at the same time.

You think you know people when you grow up with them. When you believe they've been beside you your whole life. You know their voice, the curves of their hands, what makes them laugh. You know their hearts. but it turns out you don't know their thoughts. . . You think you know someone. Then, at the age of thirty-seven, you grow up." (49-50)

It is passages such as this that really allow the reader to experience and understand Caroline's various mood swings. However, through it all, Kelly keeps the story moving at a fast pace, brimming with details and plot twists you never see coming.

Katarina Price

The Bullet is a captivating novel I found impossible to put down. If you are looking for a novelist who writes with precision and produces interesting multilayered characters, Mary Louise Kelly doesn't disappoint.

THE BULLET
By Mary Louise Kelly
pps. 357. Gallery Books. $26.