I don't really know how to review this one. I didn't get what I was expecting. What I was expecting was the tale of a mother and daughter and the events surrounding their flight from Washington DC back to their hometown in Georgia. That's just part of the story, a very small part of the story. What Glow is really about is a small town Georgia and the history of that town. How that towns history connects all the main characters together.
I wanted to hear about Amelia and what possessed her to move to Washington DC in the first place. What forced her to send her daughter Ella back home to Georgia alone on a bus. I did get that story, somewhat, but not enough. It felt like Amelia and Ella's life in Washington DC was just a tool for the author to tell the history of this Georgia town. This wasn't really a story about Amelia and Ella, and their relationship. This was the story of the town. Which was a disappointment for me because that is not what I had expected..
One of the main flaws in the whole novel for me was the lack of connection that I felt towards Amelia and Ella. This was caused by the fact that halfway through the novel Tuccelli stopped focusing on the mother and daughter and switched her focus to Willie Mae Cotton and Riddle Young. Up until that point, I was looking forward to learning more about Amelia and Ella, what caused the disconnect in their relationship. What caused Amelia to leave everything she knew in Georgia and head to Washington DC. Before I could find this out, the story jumped back in time to Willie Mae and Riddle Young.
Willie Mae and Riddle's stories were excellent. As a reader I could see that the author was really in her element while writing about these two characters. They (their stories and characters) were just so well developed and thought out, that the pages just seemed to fly by and I wanted to read more and more. But the strength of these two highlighted the weakness of Amelia and Ella. I wish the author would have taken some of that same talent and used it to plump up Amelia and Ella's story.
When I finished Glow, I wondered if Tuccelli had run out of space. Because for me if this novel had been longer and Tuccelli had been about to flush out the characters and plots more, this would have been more than just a 3 star read. I probably would have given it 4 or more.
****Disclaimer review is from an advanced reader copy received from publisher****