Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Whistling in the Dark

Whistling in the Dark ~ Lesley Kagen

It's the summer of 1959 and Sally O'Malley is looking forward to a few fun-filled months with her younger sister Troo. But things don't always work out as planned, and when the girls' mother gets sick and is secreted away in the hospital, Sally and Troo are left to fend for themselves. An alcoholic step-father, a lovestruck older sister, and a neighborhood filled with people who have their own worries leave the girls to find their own way. There's more than enough drama to go around, but when a predator sets up camp in their relatively peaceful Milwaukee neighborhood, the girls are in a fight for their very lives.

I picked up this book on a whim because I liked the cover (wow--covers really do sell books!). Okay, it wasn't just the cover that caught my attention. I was also interested in reading a book about sisters since my next book, The Moment Between, is all about that mysterious genetic bond. Anyway, I ended up loving Lesley Kagen's debut. Sally and Troo are endearing heroines and I adored the wide-eyed innocence of the story from their perspective. I thought Kagen really nailed their voices and I laughed outloud throughout the book. Surprisingly, though Whistling deals with child molestation, murder, and other various forms of abuse, it really is a rather lighthearted read where the eventual outcome of the story is never in doubt. I usually like my stories a bit messy, but for some reason when children are concerned I'm all for the happily-ever-after ending. Whistling doesn't disappoint.

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