Monday, 5 May 2014

Review: Closed Doors by Lisa O'Donnell

There are no strangers in Rothesay, Michael. Everyone knows who you are and always will. It's a blessing but it's also a curse.' Eleven-year-old Michael Murray is the best at two things: keepy-uppies and keeping secrets. His family think he's too young to hear grown-up stuff, but he listens at doors; it's the only way to find out anything. And Michael's heard a secret, one that might explain the bruises on his mother's face. When the whispers at home and on the street become too loud to ignore, Michael begins to wonder if there is an even bigger secret he doesn't know about. Scared of what might happen if anyone finds out, and desperate for life to return to normal, Michael sets out to piece together the truth. But he also has to prepare for the upcoming talent show, keep an eye out for Dirty Alice, his arch-nemesis from down the street, and avoid eating Granny's watery stew. Closed Doors is the startling new novel from the acclaimed author of The Death of Bees. It is a vivid evocation of the fears and freedoms of childhood in the 1980s and a powerful tale of love, the loss of innocence and the importance of family in difficult times.

Hardcover, 246 pages
Expected publication: May 20th 2014 by Harper
Terri's Thoughts:
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Harper via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is May 20, 2014.
This was a very unique read for me.  Told through the innocence of an eleven/twelve year old boy you experience the horror of the impact of a truly hideous crime.  In the innocence of the age the reader sees him try to piece together and understand the crime and the impacts it is having on his world.
I must admit that I had quite a few giggles when Michael voiced his opinions and thoughts in a way only a child of his age would.  His love hate relationship with Dirty Alice was one of the high points of story for me.
This books tackles a very serious issue and the fallout from it.  By telling it through the eyes of a child it allows the reader to see how far reaching the impacts can be felt when a life altering event occurs.  It portrays how there are more victims than just the person who was targeted for a crime.  I have never read a story from this perspective and I found that I quite enjoyed it.
I must admit that there were several times throughout the story that Michael got on my nerves.  He just didn't seem to get things however I believe this may have been intentional.  He was eleven after all and most eleven year olds do not see past the things that directly impact them.  I am also no expert on children so perhaps it may be a low tolerance for me.  I also found that the narrative always had people "screaming" "yelling" or "crying".  I felt there was an overuse of these phrases.  Again this could have been intentional based on the subject matter of the story.
This was a quick and easy read on a serious topic told from a unique perspective.  I enjoyed it and I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to read it.
About the Author

Lisa O’Donnell winner of The Orange Prize for New Screenwriters with her screenplay The Wedding Gift in 2000. Lisa was also nominated for the Dennis Potter New Writers Award in the same year. She moved to Los Angeles with her family in 2006, penning her first novel The Death of Bees in 2010. Published to critical acclaim by Windmill Books in 2012 The Death of Bees will be published in the US by Harper Collins January 2013. The author is very excited!!!!!!

Twitter:  lisaodonnell72    

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a pretty intense book! I love books that have the narrative voice of a child :)