Wednesday, February 17, 2010

If the Witness Lied by Caroline B. Cooney

The Fountain family isn't even really a family anymore; the three oldest siblings have scattered away, abandoning each other when they needed each other most. Everything started when their mother decided to carry her fourth child to term rather than accept chemotherapy for aggressive cancer. It became a case with national attention, and when she died shortly after giving birth, the media framed it as a baby killing its mother. A few years later, the baby killed again - this time, his father, by accidentally releasing the parking brake in their car. Their father was crushed and died instantly. The siblings knew it was Tris, the baby, who did it because there was a witness, a witness who called Tris a killer. But when the siblings reconnect, they discover there's a chance that the witness lied. And if the witness lied...then maybe everything would have been different.

It was really nice to read a plot-driven novel; I don't tend to read a lot of those. I also wanted to read more Caroline B. Cooney, so when I saw that this book was nominated for an Edgar award, I thought it would be a good one to pick up. I enjoyed this book; it kept me turning the pages with increasing speed as it built toward the end. I was interested in the family dynamic, but I'm glad that it didn't delve into the guilt any more than it did; it would have felt out of place.

The book felt it like would be a really great TV movie (and I love TV movies, so that's not a slam), but a TV movie of the week like they did in the 90s, with, like, Mark-Paul Goselaar, Candace Cameron, Tori Spelling, and some little moppet playing the siblings, and Meredith Baxter-Birney or someone playing their aunt. That would have been awesome.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Inexcusable by Chris Lynch
Reality Check by Peter Abrahams
Jane in Bloom by Deborah A. Lytton
Stranger with my Face by Lois Duncan

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