cover image What Daddy Did

What Daddy Did

Neal Shusterman. Little Brown and Company, $15.95 (230pp) ISBN 978-0-316-78906-6

Although Shusterman's novel is based on a true story, readers may well be disappointed by his listless treatment. The minimal character development and lackadaisical pace deaden the impact of these potentially intriguing incidents. Preston Scott grew up believing that his family was especially close-knit and happy. But his parents' fights increased in frequency and led, finally, to a separation and plans for divorce. This unhappy situation took a dramatic turn when Preston's father shot and killed his estranged wife. Preston and his brother were sent to live with his mother's parents, who refused to testify against their son-in-law. Even before he was released from prison, Preston's father was welcomed back into his wife's family. These tragic events are robbed of even the dubious allure of tabloid sensationalism. Those looking for insights into this disturbed--and disturbing--family will unfortunately not find them here. Ages 12-up. (May)