The Confessions of Jonathan Flite

Matthew J. Beier. Epicality Books (www.epicalitybooks.com), $28 (392p) ISBN 978-0-9838594-3-7
This genre-defying series opener from Beier (The Breeders) spans a generation and is told from multiple points of view. In 2010, seven teenagers disappear into the Moon Woods of Minnesota, becoming known as the Idle County Seven. Molly, one of the missing, narrates the events leading up to her vanishing; she also leaves behind a journal detailing her fixation with ghost hunting. Decades later, Jonathan Flite, a volatile and unsociable 13-year-old, claims to possess intimate knowledge of the vanished Seven. A curious psychologist seeks out Jonathan, who lives in a home for troubled youth, while numerous other characters become preoccupied with the unsolved mystery. Meanwhile, a controversial leader of a radical new wave of atheism is ominously linked both to a nuclear bombing in Switzerland and to the Idle County Seven. Beier’s narrative range is formidable, weaving a tapestry of multiple characters and plot tributaries; the story’s paranormal and quantum physics elements are perhaps more evocative than the underdeveloped thriller aspects. The many shifts in perspective and time frame can be disorienting, but Beier’s engrossing storytelling leaves many questions intriguingly unsettled. Ages 12–up. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 11/03/2014
Release date: 07/01/2014
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