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Tuesday, January 6

Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen

This debut novel by Lesley Kagen tells the story of the O'Malley sisters, Sally and Troo, short for Trooper. It is set in Milwakee in 1959 and is a kind of coming of age story.

The girls father died after being in an automobile accident. Before he died, he asked Sally to watch over Troo, her younger sister. Sally promised him she would. Not long after his death, their mother married Hall, not because she loved him but because she needed his help supporting the girls. They left their farm in the country and settled into a rented apartment on Vliet Street.

It wasn't long before things began to go dreadfully wrong. The girls' mother had to go to the hospital to have her gallbladder removed. Instead of returning home in a week, she developed an infection and was on the verge of dying.

Hall liked his drink and did nothing to ensure the girls were taken care of once that Helen went to the hospital. Their older sister, Nell, was infatuated with Eddy and spent all her time with him and neglected her sisters, sometimes not coming home. The girls were basically left on their own. They found unique ways to care for themselves.

Things became worse. The year before a young girl had been found murdered. The summer of 1959, another girl went missing and then the girl from next door disappeared. Sally had a vivid imagination and she figured she knew who the killer/molester was. She also knew that she was next on his list of girls to molest and murder.

Secrets both good and bad abound in this debut novel by Lesley Kagen. Will Sally become a victim of the killer/molester? What family secret will be uncovered that will change the girls' lives forever? So many questions...so many secrets...some surprising answers. This novel is a great read and one that every girl that grew up in the 50s and 60s in a small community can relate to. The book is a selection of the Readers Club of America. It's one you won't want to miss.

Ms. Kagen's pen shines in this bittersweet and intriguing novel. There is a conversation guide in the back and a list of questions about the novel that provides food for thought. Ms. Kagen has really outdone herself with this one. I picked it up and had a difficult time putting it down. I read it within 48 hours of opening the cover for the first time. It reminded me a great deal of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to be swept back in time to another era...an era I grew up in and one that I loved revisiting.

Thank you, Lesley Kagen for sending me a signed copy for review. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. This is the best book I've read in years. ~Blessings, Mary~

16 comments:

  1. It sounds really good. I'll have to check our library!

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  2. Thanks for the review. I will look for this book.

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  3. You write a very fine report Mary. It gives the the basic plot without giving it away and certainly tweaks the interest.

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  4. "To Kill a Mockingbird," is one of the best books of all time in my opinion. This sounds like a good read. I also enjoy being taken back to that era. Thanks for the recommendation Mary. Are you feeling better??

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  5. Great review Mary.
    I'm so far behind in my reading that I fear I'll never catch up.

    This book I'm reading now is Dewey as you know and it's one I can't put down either. For a whole 'nother reason.

    I've enjoyed reading stuff like Peyton Place and To Kill a Mockingbird and A Time to Kill, this book sounds like it may perhaps be a mixture of them all.

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  6. You might be interested in Thomas Nelson Publishers. They have generously presented an offer to read and review for them. I learned about this from Vicki at Light for the Writer's Soul.

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  7. Way to go girlfriend. I think you hooked a lot of us with this review. Thanks for sharing. Peace

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  8. The picture makes me think of me and my sister.

    Your review is excellent and very tantalizing. I'm ordering this one and will pass it around our family.

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  9. Ooohhh ... this sounds very interesting! Will have to read it soon.

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  10. I heard that you have been sick..Is that right? I hope not. Sounds like a good book..I love a good book..Thanks...

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  11. Great review, I love you my friend.

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  12. Sounds like a really good story. I'm going to have to keep an eye out for that one.

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  13. Sounds like you have been enjoying some reading while you have been sick. Glad you had some great material to read.
    I have not been much in the mood to read..usually happens when I have stuff hanging over my head.
    Hate that!
    Hope you are feeling better--we have had a bug going on around her that has passed our door on by. Take care and keep warm...praying.

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  14. Wow That sounds like a wonderful book. I need to read if it my head ever stops hurting...m.

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  15. Sounds like a good read-so does the Civil War Christmas book.

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