Danny’s Mom

Elaine Wolf. Arcade, $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-61145-694-3
Former high school teacher Wolf’s thin novel for adults (after Camp, a YA novel) begins with Beth and Joe Maller arguing over letting their 17-year-old son, Danny, drive during a snow storm. Joe telling Beth that she should “stop babying him,” followed by Danny pleading, makes Beth relent. Hardly a breath later, Danny dies in a road accident. Beth blames Joe, and soon their marriage, based on little more than physical attraction, deteriorates to bare civility. Beth works as a high school guidance counselor, where she butts heads with the assistant principal, who turns a blind eye to the serious bullying and homophobia going on at the school. When Beth tries to protect students who can’t protect themselves, she goes head to head with the administration in a fight that might cost her everything. Wolf’s broadly drawn exploration of grief and coping is unfortunately filled with tedious caricatures rather than characters. Readers may sympathize with Beth’s loss, and the topical problem of bullying, but the story falls short. Agent: Jennifer Lyons. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/24/2012
Release date: 11/01/2012
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FORMATS
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-62872-513-1
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