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Genre: Mainstream, General Mainstream Fiction
O’Donnell’s tale is a bit unsettling when it becomes more than just a gossipy coming-of-age rendition, and the loss of innocence far outweighs the gain. Although, once readers find their way past all the secrets and cover-ups, the truth is not far from the surface.
Mixed messages lead 11-year-old Michael Murray to meddle in his family’s darkest secrets. Other family members seem to be at odds with the local gossips on whether his dad struck his mother. The tongue-wagging escalates enough so that Michael decides to be silent at school, and when that doesn’t work he gets expelled for being too explosive. Will Michael and his dad be able to find a new normal, or will his neighborhood chums make his life even more miserable? (HARPER, May, 256 pp., $26.99)
Reviewed By: Lindy J. Swanson
Published: May 2014