Joanie Mucherino, abandoned by her husband and trying to cope with her comically tactless Italian family, kills an acquaintance with her car and then discovers, to her horror, that she and her son will keep the act a secret. Harvest American Writing series
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Jim Shepard was born in 1956 in Stratford, Connecticut, and teaches at Williams College in Massachusetts.From School Library Journal:
YA-The festivities surrounding a young boy's confirmation prove to be the ironic setting for the evil events that follow. The celebration is fraught with lighthearted bickering and tense, overprotective concern for Todd and his mother Joanie, both of whom are recovering from the recent abandonment by Todd's father. It is with a sense of relief and recklessness that the two leave the family party. Driving home, the woman hits a pedestrian and cannot bring herself to call the authorities; instead, she allows her son to absorb her guilt into his newly awakened spiritual consciousness. Todd has nowhere to go with his pain; Joanie, however, allows herself to be comforted by an old flame whose questionable ethics and boorish behavior once repulsed her. Readers will come to know the violent envy and brutal paranoia that motivate this man and will read with horrified fascination as he insinuates himself into Joanie and Todd's lives. The juxtaposition of the comical, mundane familiarity of the Mucherino family and of the savage character of Bruno, as well as the universality of the moral issues involved, raise this book above the ordinary thriller to the level of real human tragedy. A compelling and disturbing novel.
Jackie Gropman, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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