The People Who Watched Her Pass By

Scott Bradfield, Author . Two Dollar Radio $14.50 (146p) ISBN 978-0-9820151-5-5

Though Bradfield's fifth novel has the premise of a thriller or a dark psychological study, it flips reader expectations with deadpan irony. At three years old, Sal Jensen is kidnapped by “the man who fixed the hot water heater.” Known to both Sal and the reader as simply Daddy, he treats her with a respect bordering on reverence, and Sal remains calm and keenly observant. (Significantly, neither Sal's original family nor home are ever mentioned.) When nosy neighbor Mrs. Anderson becomes too intrusive, Daddy soon takes off, in effect leaving Sal in the care of Mrs. Anderson, the first of several “foster families” that are revealed in strung-together and seemingly interchangeable vignettes. Most intriguing among the set pieces is the Laundromat where Sal lives for several months. Though Bradfield's (The History of Luminous Motion ) wounded child's eye-view of a homogenized America isn't exactly new, he's an adept prose stylist, and his portrayal of children as symbols instead of individuals is incisive. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/22/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 146 pages - 978-0-9826848-4-9
Paperback - 216 pages - 978-1-4596-0100-0
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