Thursday, August 5, 2010

They Never Came Back by Caroline B. Cooney

Cathy just wanted to take Latin in summer school. But now her life is completely different. Another student has ID-ed her as his long lost cousin Murielle, a claim Cathy vigorously denies. Murielle was the daughter of two financiers who bolted rather than facing criminal charges, leaving their daughter behind. Is Cathy this cousin? Where is Murielle?

I was expecting that to be driving narrative force to the story, but it's actually resolved rather quickly. The rest of the book focuses on the issue of right and wrong, identity, family, and responsibility. Can a person outrun his or her past? Are we the same people we were as children? What is a family? The story is interesting (and timely). Some of the writing is a bit thin, especially when it's being twisted around into an awkward pun. The ending left me kind of questioning what it says about the 'realness' of foster families (I think there were a few threads that didn't get wrapped up), but it's a good story for people who enjoy plot-driven mini-thrillers.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
If The Witness Lied by Caroline B. Cooney
Friend is not a Verb by Daniel Ehrenheft
The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

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