Book Review: Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen

Have you read Whistling In the Dark by Lesley Kagen ? I just finished with the book last night. I have been poking along slowly with it this winter because by the time I finish doing other things my eyes are too tired to care about reading.

But the last few days I have set aside reading time, generally while everyone else is drinking cocktails at the neighbors. I know…but one must make a sacrifice sometimes. 🙂

Kagen managed to find the cadence and simplicity of a child’s voice and thought process while writing this book. It is, I think, a very difficult task to accomplish. As a writer that enjoys the daily “flash fiction” type of writing, I think the long process of writing a novel would make it even more difficult. This is the story of two little girls left with a drunken stepfather and an irresponsible stepsister to fend for themselves while their mother had surgery. The mother contracts hepatitis and is in the hospital for a whole summer. As we can all imagine, the outcome could have been disastrous for them. The distress the child endured seemed insurmountable. In the end I thought it was probably her innocence that saved her. I did get caught up in the language. A child telling what she heard but misinterpreting the meaning while the adult reader takes that same story and makes meaning of her world, became a wonderful story.

I am so hooked on the “perfect” or “near perfect” writing of a Pulitzer Prize winner and the way his/hers tale fits together so perfectly, that I found myself being too critical of the author. I wish I had let it go earlier and just went along for the ride. Why? Well, when I had finished reading, I actually wanted to start all over again. Just plain silly, huh!


Two for Tuesday


3 thoughts on “Book Review: Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen

  1. this book sounds lovely,…. i am currently reading the glass castle by jeanette walls… and i am pretty sure if you liked this book you would love the glass house as well… thanks for joining in on two for tuesdays… it is a newer meme,, and they often take a while to get going,, but i feel it is worthwhile…

  2. B, I always love a good book recommendation. There are so many interesting books out there, and I want to read them all. But since we do sometimes have to make sacrifices, it’s great to have someone help narrow the options.I will add Whistling in the Dark to my list. And thanks!

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