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A Reader of Fictions: Not While I'm Around from Sweeney Todd

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not While I'm Around from Sweeney Todd

The Winters in Bloom

Author: Lisa Tucker
Pages: 271
ARC Acquired from:
Simon & Schuster via NetGalley

Brief Summary:
Kyra and David Winter are seriously overprotective parents. They took their son Michael out of public school for fear that bullies might pick on him, even though nothing bad had actually happened; instead, they home school him. Every bit of his life has been carefully considered and child-proofed. Both Kyra and David have dark pasts that lead them to be so afraid of losing their child. Not only that, but Michael nearly died of meningitis when he was a baby. Their restrictions are so tight that it was astounding that they let him play out in the yard by himself. During this brief period of time, Michael is taken by a woman who says she knows his family. Will the Winters survive this latest catastrophe?

When I started reading my e-galley of The Winters in Bloom, I noticed first the page at the beginning where the publisher was talking about how much she loved this book and how it was the best one of the year. Her praise was so high that I kind of rolled my eyes, thinking that she loves it because it will make her money. I am happy to report that the book really was that good. From the absolutely incredible first chapter, I was totally involved in the story.

My one previous experience with Lisa Tucker proved disappointing (The Song Reader), perhaps because my expectations were really high. I own a couple of her other books, but haven't gotten to them yet. I am now super glad that I have them.

So yeah, I mentioned how mindblowing the first chapter was. The book opens from Michael's point of view (although in third person) and you can see how much he has been affected by his parent's worries. Young as he is, he has already inherited their fear of everything, as evidenced in the first line: "He was the only child in a house full of doubt." Five years old and he looks around thinking about the many ways he could get injured. This is what he was doing in his time in the backyard by himself when the nice lady came and asked him if he wanted to go on a ride. Wow. Just wow.

While the rest of the story was not as dramatic and intense as this one, the story definitely maintained its beautiful simplicity. I loved finding out what had happened to the various characters to make them into who they now were. There are a lot of hints as you go along, allowing you to make your own suppositions (I was right about David/Courtney, but wrong about Kyra).

If you like stories of family drama and broken people, this is one that is not to be missed. What a completely beautiful, depressing, uplifting story!

"Nothing's gonna harm you, not while I'm around.
Nothing's gonna harm you, no sir, not while I'm around."

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Blogger S.E. Andres said...

Guess I'll have to check it out! Can't wait!

August 31, 2011 at 11:01 PM  

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