A novel that chills.
The mind of ‘Milly’ is cunning – as she has been taught to be by her mother. She shares what she thinks is needed and required, and that which will progress her objectives. She seems to have 2 main objectives, one being to ensure that her mother goes to prison for as long as possible and thus she will not have to return to the house of horrors that she was brought up in; and 2 to remain with Mike as a foster child, whatever that takes.
Milly manipulates the situation and we learn just how far she will go as the story develops. She has a Good personality and a Bad personality and she is aware of each and feels no shame when she uses her Bad personality to undertake a behaviour that will bring her closer to one of her goals. She is aware of what is morally correct to do in situations but often behaves differently, justifying her behaviour from her own goals.
In the book her foster sister has a manipulative personality and she is unaware of just how far Milly understands her and can counteract her when necessary. Her mother did teach her a great many ways to manipulate others.
Yet Milly is lonely. Her life with her mother did not permit her to have friends. She would like to be accepted as who she really is but the very heavy publicity about her mother, who is now on trial due to Milly, prevents this. Only a very few are permitted to know who she really is as she is the prime witness against her mother.
The story is told by Milly so we see her thinking and rationales as the trial of her mother develops and as her relationship with her foster family is impacted by the trial.
You feel very sorry for Milly. Her mother twisted and warped her through abuse and yet her awareness of good and bad means that in the end, when the full extent of her behaviour is revealed, you realise that she is probably not fit to live in normal society.