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...and came up with this story as a lark one gin-fueled summer night. This novel seems to have all the right ingredients for a transporting beach read: clever characters in moneyed summer community including eccentric neighbors and famousy parents, mysterious happenings to be explained later, references to 1972 current events, etc. Unfortunately, my imagination couldn't find a comfortable place to settle in and enjoy the story. From the beginning, this book made me restless, or like I had a pebble in my shoe.
As I began to listen, I thought, "This novel is like 'The Lovely Bones' meets 'Seating Arrangements!'" After meeting more characters, notably, the plucky 12 year old protagonist named Riddle, I said, "No, it's an east coast 'To Kill A Mockingbird' with a super sinister Boo Radley!" When Riddle witnesses a crime and becomes completely unable to say a peep to these sophisticated, caustic parents with whom she seems to have a fairly good relationship, I became exasperated and called it. I need to be done. From what the author tells us of Riddle, she would have spoken up; even if her parents were self absorbed and preoccupied. That's where R.L. Stine comes in. I haven't read his children's "Goosebumps" series, but I have heard him called "Stephen King for Children" and that's the flavor of this book. Without Stephen King's compulsive readability. Poor Riddle is left to solve her own problems in a world where adults are shadowy presences with influences ranging from benign to malign.
I was four hours in before I gave up so please forgive me if this turns out to be an incredibly amazing story for those willing to invest the full thirteen hours. I have absolutely been wrong about books before but I'm willing to risk losing out and am returning this title. Still in the mood for some windswept summer house drama, I think I'll reread "Fortune's Rocks" or "Sea Glass" by Anita Shreve. Then a little Updike. Summer's too short to waste time on things so underwhelming.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Coming of age story set in 1970's summertime cape cod.
The performance of this book and the characters are very good.The story does lag in the middle, but was rather good.