The Gripped Characters: Q&A with Sarah Parrish on “The Truth We Never Told”

Written by Sarah Parrish, Dover, Massachusetts

Sarah is a senior at Dover-Sherborn High School where she is captain of the Alpine Ski Team and the Track and Field Team. She is also a member of her school’s Peer Helping Club and Community Service club. Throughout the summer, Sarah works as a counselor at a local summer camp and also as a server at the Chatham Filling station. With a passion for leadership and athletics, she enjoys ski instructing at Burke Mountain and coaching field hockey for Dover-Sherborn Youth Field Hockey. She also enjoys her participation in the Senior High Youth Group at Pilgrim Church where she volunteers around her community. In her freetime, she enjoys boating, skiing, running and traveling. 

After reading Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told by Stacy A. Padula, Sarah was interviewed about her thoughts on the main characters.

  1. Who do you feel bad for and why?

I feel bad for Chantal because her relationship with Jon was so suddenly ripped apart. She was rightly so, sticking up for what she believes in, which is Jon not drinking. Although she may have exaggerated, her intentions were only to prevent her boyfriend from making poor decisions and her resistance towards him led to unjust repercussions. In addition, her sister was then keeping secrets from her. Although it was in her best interest, it is important to know the real reason why her ex-boyfriend ended things abruptly.

  1. Who frustrates you and why? 

Jon frustrates me because he treated Chantal very poorly. It seems as if the respect in their relationship was not mutual and that he should have been much more attentive to her feelings and wishes. It also frustrates me that when things became hard between them, he used the flight method and started spending more time with Chantal’s best friend rather than trying to ameliorate his relationship with his current girlfriend which I see as an indicator to his immature nature.

  1. Who do you most relate to and why?

I relate most to Cathy. There are instances throughout the story where she is very conflicted and although it may seem that she is doing the wrong thing, you can tell that her head is always in the right place and she is very conscious of her decisions. I believe I am that way as well. For example, when her theory of Jon mistaking her voice for Chantal’s was proven true, she was very indecisive of whether to tell Chantal the truth or not. It was very clear that she was thoroughly thinking through her options and considering each of their repercussions. Another instance that I noticed this about Cathy was when Lisa had told her brother to pick them up from the party in the morning rather than the night prior. 

  1. Who do you like and why? 

I really like Jason because I think he is a good and stable character. He treats Cathy very well and I am excited to see what happens in the future of their relationship. Although many people have negative opinions about him, I think he will be able to reverse his reputation because he really cares about Cathy and wants to treat her right.

  1. Who do you hate and why?

I don’t really hate any characters, although there are some that have noticeable flaws and wrongdoings such as Jon, I believe that they all have their own reasons for their actions and are often misunderstood. For example, Jon hanging out with Alyssa and breaking up with Chantal would be told completely differently from his point of view rather than Chantal’s. Also, Chantal makes Cathy out to be a devil but Cathy has her reasons for keeping a secret from Chantal. 


Now being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman!

In high school, Taylor Dunkin broke more records than any other athlete to step foot in Montgomery, Massachusetts. As a sophomore in college, he was ranked by ESPN as one of the NFL’s top 100 prospects. However, his aspirations came to a jarring halt when a season-ending injury sent him spiraling into a dark world of pain, depression, and addiction.

One year later, Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential investigation headed by the Boston Police Department. He has entangled himself in a crime ring notorious for pushing drugs on local college campuses. Montgomery’s hometown hero has fallen hard, and he’s taking a lot of people down with him.

Luke Davids has become the middleman between Taylor and teens in Montgomery who want to buy drugs. Freshmen Cathy Kagelli, Chris Dunkin, and Jason Davids are just a few of the students at Montgomery Lake High who have fallen victim to the benzos and opiates supplied by Taylor and Luke.  

When Taylor’s youngest brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious amount of pills circulating around his high school, he sets off to not only reverse the damage Taylor has caused, but also save his lifelong role model from becoming a casualty of America’s deadly opioid epidemic.

Published by Author Stacy A. Padula

Stacy Padula has spent the last 14 years working daily with teenagers as a college counselor, mentor, and life coach. She was named "Top Inspirational Author of the Year" for 2022 by the International Association of Top Professionals (New York, NY). In 2021, she was broadcast on the famous Reuters Building in Times Square as "Empowered Woman of the Year." Her Gripped book series is currently being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman. She is the founder and CEO of Briley & Baxter Publications: a publishing company that donates a portion of its proceeds to animal rescues each month. She has edited and published a variety of titles, including Boston Bruins Anthem Singer Todd Angilly and Rachel Goguen's The Adventures of Owen & the Anthem Singer, LaTonya Pinkard of Netflix's Last Chance U's Nate & His Magic Lion, and former NHL player Norm Beaudin's memoir The Original: Living Life Through Hockey. Stacy resides in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband Tim and two miniature dachshunds, Briley and Baxter.