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Whistling in the Darkby Lesley Kagen
Synopses & Reviews
It was the summer on Vliet Street we all started locking our doors....Sally O'Malley made a promise to her daddy before he died. She swore she'd look after her sister, Troo. Keep her safe. But like her Granny always said — actions speak louder than words. Sally would have to agree with her. Because during the summer of 1959, the girls' mother is hospitalized, their stepfather has abandoned them for a six pack, and their big sister, Nell, who was left strict instructions to take care of the girls, is too busy making out with her boyfriend to notice that her charges are on the loose. And so is a murderer and molester.
Highly imaginative Sally is pretty sure of two things. Who the killer is. And that she's next on his list. If nobody will believe her, she has no choice but to protect herself and Troo as best she can, relying on her own courage and the kindness of her neighbors.
Funny, wise and uplifting, Whistling in the Dark is the story of two tough and endearing little girls...and of a time not so long ago, when life was not as innocent as it appeared.
"The loss of innocence can be as dramatic as the loss of a parent or the discovery that what's perceived to be truth can actually be a big fat lie, as shown in Kagen's compassionate debut, a coming-of-age thriller set in Milwaukee during the summer of 1959. Ten-year-old Sally O'Malley fears that a child predator who has already murdered two girls, Junie Piaskowski and Sara Heinemann, will target her or her little sister, Troo, next. Sally's mom is in the hospital, while her big sister, Nell, is distracted by love and her stepdad, Hall, by the bottle, so who can save her if the killer is, as she suspects, her neighbor, David Rasmussen, a popular cop who has a photo of Junie hanging in his house? Though the mystery elements are sketchy, Kagen sharply depicts the vulnerability of children of any era. Sally, 'a girl who wouldn't break a promise even if her life depended on it,' makes an enchanting protagonist." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Bittersweet and beautifully rendered, Whistling in the Dark is the story of two young sisters and a summer jam-packed with disillusionment and discovery. With the unrelenting optimism that only children could bring to such a situation, these girls triumph. So does Kagen. Whistling in the Dark shines. Don't miss it." Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants
"Every now and then, you come across a book with characters so endearing that you love them like family, and a plot so riveting that you can¹t read slowly to make the story last longer, no matter how hard you try. Whistling in the Dark is one such book. I absolutely loved this novel from the first page to the last!" Sandra Kring, author of Carry Me Home and The Book of Bright Ideas
"Kagen's debut novel sparkles with charm thanks to 10-year-old narrator Sally O'Malley, who draws readers into the story of her momentous summer in 1959. The author has an uncanny ability to visualize the world as seen by a precocious child in this unforgettable book." Romantic Times
"One of the summer's hot reads." Chicago Tribune
"Delightful...gritty and smart, profane and poetic." Milwaukee Magazine
"Innocently wise and ultimately captivating." The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
It was the summer on Vliet Street when we all started locking our doors...
Sally O'Malley made a promise to her daddy before he died. She swore she'd look after her sister, Troo. Keep her safe. But like her Granny always said-actions speak louder than words. Now, during the summer of 1959, the girls' mother is hospitalized, their stepfather has abandoned them for a six pack, and their big sister, Nell, is too busy making out with her boyfriend to notice that Sally and Troo are on the Loose. And so is a murderer and molester.
Highly imaginative Sally is pretty sure of two things. Who the killer is. And that she's next on his list. Now she has no choice but to protect herself and Troo as best she can, relying on her own courage and the kindness of her neighbors.
About the Author
Lesley Kagen is a writer, actress, voice-over talent, and restaurateur. The owner of Restaurant Hama, one of Milwaukee's top restaurants.
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