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349 pages, Hardcover
First published January 1, 2009
“I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it.”
I assumed everything bad in the world could happen, because everything bad in the world already did happen.
Libby Day is famous for all the wrong reasons.
I was raised feral, and I mostly stayed that way.
I was not a lovable child, and I'd grown into a deeply unlovable adult.And now, 25 years later, Libby is scraping down rock bottom.
I felt something loosen in me, that shouldn't have loosened. A stitch come undone.The Kill Club goes chasing after unsolved murders and are obsessed with notorious crimes. They're willing pay Libby to look into her own past.
“I was not a lovable child, and I'd grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it'd be a scribble with fangs.”Lesson learned # 2: Reading her books in a dark apartment at 3 am is a big making-skin-crawl mistake.
¹Why grudgingly? Because this book made me feel torn. When I think of it, it's almost like I think of two separate books: a bit contrived and shoddily resolved murder mystery as well as an excellently disturbing voyage into the unpleasant recesses of human mind.These two impressions of mine seem to be split almost exclusively along the framework of the story: the unsatisfying bit being mostly the story of present-day Libby Day, told in the first person as she struggles to find the answers to the worst thing that happened in her life; and the unpleasant but good parts of the story set a quarter of the century prior, seen through the eyes of Libby's mother and brother.
Yes, the murders themselves, regardless of how gruesome they may be, are not the disturbing part, not at all. The nastiness comes from the people involved - Libby herself, her maybe-innocent-maybe-not brother, her repulsive good-for-nothing father, and a few more key players of that fateful, as it turned out, day.Libby's story - unfortunately, it's not that great. Mind it, the actual character of Libby Day is quite interesting. She is pathetic in her almost parasitic existence, and knows her own unlikability very well. But the storyline itself - it does not stand out that much, and Libby's inevitable waking up from her couple of decades of stupor feels a bit contrived. The interactions between Libby and everyone else around her are uninspired. It's mediocre, and gets not even a second thought from me. Bleh.
The truly frightening flaw in humanity is our capacity for cruelty - we all have it.
I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it.
I was not a lovable child, and I'd grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it'd be a scribble with fangs.
Sometimes he felt like he'd been gone his whole life--in exile, away from the place he was supposed to be, and that, soldier-like, he was pining to be returned. Homesick for a place he'd never been.