TITLE: This Side of Crazy
GENRE: Women's Fiction
Cissy, a troubled 16-year-old in 1970s Mississippi, uses humor, OCD tendencies and conversations with "God" to help her cope after killing her abusive father. When her terminally ill grandmother busts her out of the state psychiatric hospital and they go on the lam, Cissy uncovers secrets about her childhood and finds a sense of family and normalcy in the most unlikely places.
For years I escaped to a private place in my mind and daydreamed about killing my daddy. The thing is I never really thought I'd go through with it. When I shot him in the back that July morning, I surprised myself as much as everyone else.
The Harrison County sheriff said I must be some crazy whack of a girl but I know I'm not crazy. I was just born into this world with good boundaries, which, in my opinion, most people lack. My definition of crazy is staying married when you're not all that happy, telling lies when the truth will do in most instances, and believing a gray-haired man in the sky has our lives all planned out for us.
My definition of crazy is bad-touching a child and then pretending to be a normal daddy to the outside world. I don't think it is at all crazy to kill your own daddy to stop the shameful things he's doing to your body and mind and to prevent him from hurting anybody else. Maybe what's crazy is waiting until age 16 to do it.
"Cissy, answer my questions." Judge Carroll's voice cracked. If he meant to sound authoritative, he did a poor job of it. He seemed more nervous than anything. The way he sweated, you'd think the Biloxi sun scorched a hole through the courthouse roof and beat directly down on his head. I wished he'd wipe his forehead because those shiny domes of sweat looked liked blisters waiting to pop.