A Crime in the Neighborhood

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9780140273328: A Crime in the Neighborhood

In the long hot summer of 1972, three events shattered the serenity of ten year old Marsha's life: her father ran away with her mother's sister Ada; Boyd Ellison, a young boy, was molested and murdered; and Watergate made the headlines. Living in a world no longer safe or familiar, Marsha turns increasingly to 'the book of evidence' in which she records the doings of the neighbors, especially of shy Mr Green next door. But as Marsha's confusion and her murder hunt accelerate, her 'facts' spread the damage cruelly and catastrophically throughout the neighborhood.

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Review:

A murdered boy, a runaway husband, a family spinning out of control--Suzanne Berne's A Crime in the Neighborhood is no ordinary coming-of-age novel. The narrator of this dark tale of 1970s suburbia is 10-year-old Marsha, who lives with her mother and older twin siblings in a suburb of Washington, D.C. In the spring of 1972, a young boy is molested, murdered, and then dumped behind a shopping mall. That the child was not particularly likeable is just one of Berne's deviations from the expected, as clear-eyed Marsha recalls the boy's many character flaws, even as she relates the details of an undeniably horrifying crime. Though murder is the most visible crime in Marsha's neighborhood, it is by no means the only one; when Marsha's father and aunt run off together, their enormous betrayal sends Marsha's mother into a tailspin and Marsha into a strange dalliance with Mr. Green, the neighbor next door.

A Crime in the Neighborhood is a deft and provocative first novel that turns many of the coming-of-age conventions on their heads. There is nothing sepia-tinted about Marsha's recollections of her childhood--the lives of 10-year-olds are mired in the mistakes of adults and the cruelties of other children. The pitiless eye Marsha brings to bear on the friends, family, and acquaintances of her youth makes A Crime in the Neighborhood an unusual and worthwhile read.

From the Back Cover:

In the summer of 1972, in a suburb of Washington, D.C., the body of a twelve-year-old boy was found near a shopping mall. He had been sexually molested and then murdered. The worst crime came later. Marsha Eberhardt was ten years old at the time of the murder. The story of how she reacted is as disturbing as the murder itself. As the adult Marsha looks back on that summer and recounts the events, she sees herself as an almost fanatically vigilant little girl edging as close as possible to every disturbance. There were all kinds of disturbances - the murder, the break-in at the Watergate that Walter Cronkite kept talking about, Marsha's own family's upheaval. Her father had deserted her. Her teenaged siblings were shoplifting. Her mother was flirting with the new neighbor next door. When the summer dragged on and on without the police solving the murder, Marsha felt compelled to put the "evidence" she'd been collecting to use. How do crimes that we witness or commit as children continue to haunt us years later? Can we ever escape the wrongs we've done, or the wrongs done to us? Marsha Eberhardt, a child of the seventies - of the first generation to grow up believing there's no such thing as "good" government, "safe" neighborhoods, or "stable" families - finds herself turning this question over and over in her mind.

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Suzanne Berne
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the long hot summer of 1972, three events shattered the serenity of ten year old Marsha s life: her father ran away with her mother s sister Ada; Boyd Ellison, a young boy, was molested and murdered; and Watergate made the headlines. Living in a world no longer safe or familiar, Marsha turns increasingly to the book of evidence in which she records the doings of the neighbors, especially of shy Mr Green next door. But as Marsha s confusion and her murder hunt accelerate, her facts spread the damage cruelly and catastrophically throughout the neighborhood. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780140273328

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the long hot summer of 1972, three events shattered the serenity of ten year old Marsha s life: her father ran away with her mother s sister Ada; Boyd Ellison, a young boy, was molested and murdered; and Watergate made the headlines. Living in a world no longer safe or familiar, Marsha turns increasingly to the book of evidence in which she records the doings of the neighbors, especially of shy Mr Green next door. But as Marsha s confusion and her murder hunt accelerate, her facts spread the damage cruelly and catastrophically throughout the neighborhood. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780140273328

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Book Description Penguin, 1999. Book Condition: New. 10-year-old Marsha is in turmoil following the collapse of her parents' marriage, and the brutal murder of a local boy. When the shy bachelor from next door begins to take an interest in Marsha's mother, Marsha is drawn into a cruel spiral of events that quickly spins out of control. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: FF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 130 x 17. Weight in Grams: 242. . 1999. New Ed. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780140273328

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Book Description Penguin. Book Condition: New. 10-year-old Marsha is in turmoil following the collapse of her parents' marriage, and the brutal murder of a local boy. When the shy bachelor from next door begins to take an interest in Marsha's mother, Marsha is drawn into a cruel spiral of events that quickly spins out of control. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: FF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 130 x 17. Weight in Grams: 242. . 1999. New Ed. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780140273328

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, A Crime in the Neighborhood, Suzanne Berne, A seductive story of suspicion, fear and moral corruption, this is the tale of 10-year-old Marsha. Her life is in turmoil following the collapse of her parents' marriage, and the brutal murder of a local boy. When the shy bachelor from next door begins to take an interest in Marsha's mother, Marsha is drawn into a cruel spiral of events that quickly spins out of control. 'Immaculate and impressive' - "The Literary Review". Bookseller Inventory # B9780140273328

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; In the long hot summer of 1972, three events shattered the serenity of ten year old Marsha's life: her father ran away with her mother's sister Ada; Boyd Ellison, a young boy, was molested and murdered; and Watergate made the headlines. Living in a world no longer safe or familiar, Marsha turns incr. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780140273328_rkm

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