Review: Blind Turn by Cara Sue Achterberg

About the book

Liz Johnson single-handedly raised an exemplary daughter—honor student, track star, and all-around good kid—despite the disapproval of her father and her small town. How could that same teenager be responsible for the death of the high school’s beloved football coach? This is Texas, where high school football ranks right up there with God, so while the legal battle wages, the public deals its own verdict.

Desperate for help, Liz turns to a lawyer whose affection she long ago rejected and attempts to play nice with her ex-husband, while her daughter struggles with guilt and her own demons as she faces the consequences of an accident she doesn’t remember.

Can one careless decision alter a lifetime? A tragic, emotional, ultimately uplifting story, BLIND TURN could be anyone’s story.

My Goodreads review

Blind TurnBlind Turn by Cara Sue Achterberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One text, one look off the road is all it takes for Jess to ruin her life and the lives of others. As her mother and father fight to keep her out of jail, Jess tries to survive in a town that puts football above everything else.

Told in 2 voices, daughter Jess and mother Liz, we see the after-effects of one wrong choice and how it impacts the rest of our lives. Does one act make us a good or a bad person? Are there some actions that can’t be forgiven? What if we can’t forgive ourselves.

The author does well keeping the voices of the mother and daughter distinct. The mother makes a lot of hard decisions, putting her life on hold to make sure her daughter comes out from this as unscathed as possible. She can’t lie and tell her daughter everything will be all right. This isn’t a scraped knee. How does a parent guide their child through the darkest moment of their life while trying to keep their emotions in control?

There is a romantic element to the story, it adds layers of complication showing the reader who our characters are.

It is not easy to write a book on such a sensitive topic with so many opinions about what is right and what is wrong. Achterberg does a great job of showing each of the maturation of the characters during the story while giving us readers a little light at the end of an emotional tunnel.

This is not light reading. If you enjoy the issues-driven novels of Jodi Piccoult this would be a good fit.

As a parent this story broke my heart for all the times I can’t fix my children’s problems no matter how much I want to. As a daughter I think about all the times my parents believed in me when it felt like no one else did. As a wife, I thought about how quickly life can change.

I am thankful to Black Rose Writing and the author Cara Sue Achterberg for an advance review copy of this title. I was asked to give a fair and honest review and was not paid. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

View all my reviews

What others are saying

One of the few books in recent memory I was completely unable to put down, yet still wished I could read more slowly so it would never end. Achterberg writes with a seamless combination of aching sensitivity and a page-turning urgency. Easily one of the best books of any genre I’ve read this entire year. 

-C.H. Armstrong, author of Roam and The Edge of Nowhere

From its life-shattering opening on, pages will seemingly turn themselves as you seek resolution for this novel’s imperfect yet courageous characters, and for one eye-opening reason: these events could have happened to any of us. An important story about how taking responsibility for our actions—even if accidental—can turn a nightmare into rays of hope.

—Kathryn Craft, award-winning author of The Far End of Happy

When the unthinkable happens, mother and daughter are forced to look deep within themselves for the truth. Achterberg takes you for a ride that you won’t forget. I loved this book.

– Barbara Conrey Author of Nowhere Near Goodbye

About the Author

Cara Achterberg is the author of three previous novels, in addition to two memoirs, including the recently published, 100 Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues. You can learn more about her writing at

Final Thoughts

Blind turn would make a great book group choice. There is a lot to unpack and with no clear or easy answers, I can see a group settling over a bottle of wine and battling over the nuances of good or bad, right or wrong for hours. Do yourself a favor and pick up this book.

To Purchase

I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on the picture, not only do you support the author, but I will receive a percentage of the sale.


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