Closed Doors

Lisa O’Donnell. Harper, $26.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-227189-1
O’Donnell’s second novel (after The Death of Bees) is narrated by Michael Murray, an 11-year-old boy living with his parents and grandmother on a small island off the coast of Scotland during the Thatcher era. Early on, something terrible happens to Michael’s mother, Rosemary; he’s told that she fell down while running away from a flasher. Michael is spared the truth and initially accepts the explanation he’s given, but O’Donnell leaves plenty of clues suggesting that something tragic has occurred. In one of the novel’s most striking moments, Michael, desperate to make sense of his mother’s descent into depression and his father’s increasing anger over the crime, combs through dictionary entries of words he’s overheard his parents use while arguing. Though O’Donnell creates a powerful voice for her young protagonist, she is less than fair to Rosemary, whose fear that telling the truth would open her up to victim blaming is presented as simply a source of pain to others, rather than as a legitimate concern. Agent: Alex Christofi, Corville and Walsh (U.K.). (June)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Release date: 05/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4481-6521-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-4945-5030-1
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-06-227190-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4945-0030-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4945-3030-3
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