Whistling in the Dark captivated readers with the story of 10-year-old Sally O'Malley and her sister, Troo, during Milwaukee's summer of 1959. The novel became a New York Times best seller and was named a Midwest Honor Award winner. In Good Graces, it's one year later, and a heat wave has everyone in the close-knit Milwaukee neighborhood on edge - none more so than Sally O'Malley, who remains deeply traumatized by the sudden death of her daddy and her near escape from a murderer and molester the previous summer.
Although outwardly she and her sister, Troo, are more secure, Sally's confidence in her own judgment and much of her faith have been whittled away. When a series of disquieting events unfold in the neighborhood - a string of home burglaries, the escape from reform school of a nemesis, and the mysterious disappearance of an orphan, crimes that may involve the increasingly rebellious Troo - Sally is called upon to rise above her inner demons. She made a deathbed promise to her daddy to keep Troo safe, a promise she can't break, even if her life depends on it. But when events reach a crisis point, will Sally have the courage and discernment to make the right choices? Or will her false assumptions lead her and those she loves into danger once again?
Lesley Kagen's gift for imbuing her child narrators with compelling authenticity shines as never before in Good Graces, a novel told with sensitivity, wit, and warmth.
"For all the praise garnered for Whistling in the Dark, Good Graces more than lives up to its predecessor." (School Library Journal)
"A...spot on sequel to her bestselling debut, Whistling in the Dark. Kagen does a remarkable job of balancing the goofiness of an eleven-year-old with the sinister plot points, creating a suspenseful yarn that still retains an air of genuine innocence. Readers who enjoyed the first story are in for a treat." (Publishers Weekly)
"Good Graces deftly dwells in '60's Milwaukee. Through her preteen narrator, Sally O'Malley, she (Kagen) evokes the joys, sorrows and complexities of growing up." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
"Spend happy hours following the O'Malley sisters through the sweltering summer of 1960 on Milwaukee's West Side. This humorous, passionate novel of childhood is full of evocative local detail and the lives of wild, smart children." (Milwaukee magazine)
"Good Graces is filled with sensitivity and wit." (Shepherd Express)
"In Good Graces the mix of light and dark is rendered with honesty, wit and savvy." (The Morton Report)
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The Author is the Perfect Narrator
worth the wait
I have to say that the wait for Good Graces was definitely worth it. I was able to read a galley of the book and was blown away at how good it was. Then when I listened it brought the book to life!!! I absolutely loved Whistling in the Dark and was anxiously awaiting the sequel . When reading Whistling in the Dark I felt like I was transported in time and that I became part of the O'Malley sisters lives. To be able to revisit these girls again in Good Graces was a gift that Kagen delivered with a giant bow. This is by far one of the greatest sequels ever written. I read nearly 100 books a year and there are very few books that resonate with me long after I read them. In that way, this book is a rare gem. The dialogue is spot on, being both serious and funny in perfect unison. You find yourself lost in the book due to the beautifully woven and intricate plot. You crave more and are not disappointed. Good Graces is the type of story that can only be written by an author that is authentic and truly gifted. Kagen has proven again that she deserves to be on the National Best Sellers List. This is a book that cannot be missed. It is everything that I hoped it would be and more. I look forward to seeing what else Kagen can dream up. She is truly one of the best authors out there. Preorder this book now, you will not be disappointed. If you have not read Whistling in the Dark make sure to get it and read it while you wait for Good Graces!!!
- Mrs Mommy Booknerd (Mrs Mommy Booknerd's Book Reviews) #MMBBR "Lover of life!"