Annette's Reviews > Whistling In the Dark

Whistling In the Dark by Lesley Kagen
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's review
Aug 18, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: adult
Recommended to Annette by: Vicki
Read from August 10 to 17, 2010

I want to give this book 4 stars because there are a lot of things that I really like about it, but I feel that I need to deduct one star for language. After I had read a few chapters I almost decided not to finish it because of the language, but I got so hooked, I couldn't put it down.
This book was the Fox Valley Library's Pick of the year. The author lives in Mequon (a suburb of Milwaukee). This is her first novel and a well written one at that.
This is about two sisters, Sally age 10 and Troo age 9, growing up in Milwaukee during the summer of 1959. They are basically left to their own devices while their mother is in the hospital and their step-father is a drunkard. At times the book seems completely implausible, 'can there really be that many screwy people in one neighborhood?' The first half is especially disturbing in this way, but the second half is much better.
To me, the book is about growing up in a scary world where it seems that everyone is out to get you. It's also about family love and loyalty and especially, forgiveness.
If you'd like to read a book about two very precocious and strong-willed little girls who learn to survive in a very tough environment than I highly recommend it, just be prepared for a lot of bad language.
Here are a couple of my favorite passages:
"Ethel Jenkins was the cool side of my pillow when I had a fever."
"Troo was becoming so Italian and French. More like the salad dressing aisle up at Kroger than an Irish girl"

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