It is the autumn of 1999. A year has passed since Lucy Darby's sudden and unexpected death, leaving her husband David and son Whitley to mend the gaping hole in their lives. David, a trauma-site cleanup technician, spends his nights expunging the violent remains of strangers, helping their families to move on, though he is unable to do the same. Whitley an 11 year-old social pariah known simply as The Kid hasn't spoken since his mother's death. Instead, he communicates through a growing collection of notebooks, living in a safer world of his own silent imagining.
This was a slow, sad and depressing book.
Darby and his son, "The Kid", are still reeling from the death of their wife/mother a year later. Darby is haunted by her death and deals by blocking things out. The Kid deals by not speaking since his mothers death.
This book made me mad. It had the story line of a great book but the way it was laid out and written ruined it for me.
The writing wasn't terrible. O'Connor is a good writer. His descriptions are very detailed but, in most cases in this book, the long, detailed descriptions weren't needed where they were put. There were times where O'Connor went so in depth in a scene, down to minute details, about things that weren't necessary to write that much about. Then, there were scenes that seemed incredibly important that were just grazed over. They were just tossed to the side.
The character development was good. I especially liked once it got farther into the story with the father. I was confused and intrigued.
The biggest flaw of the entire book is it's layout. It is horrible and confusing. There are chapters in it but I'm not quite sure why. The story goes between Darby, The Kid and flashbacks without any distinction. One paragraph is The Kid in school dealing with bullies and the next is him sitting with his mom. There were no transitions into anything. It was a jumbled mess. I almost didn't finish it just because of this.
The last 60 pages or so were really good, though. This is when you finally find out what really happened to Mrs. Darby and get to crack into the mind of Darby. It was the best part of the whole book.
Oh, and if you like endings tied into neat little packages, you will be very disappointed with this one.
2.5 out of 5 stars
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