Sunday, May 25, 2014

Closed Doors-Lisa O'Donnell

Closed Doors Lisa O'Donnell Harper, May 20 2014, $26.99 ISBN: 9780062271891 On Rothesay west of the Scottish mainland, eleven year old Michael Murray lives in a new house that his Ma thanks Prime Minister Thatcher for building while his Da loathes the PM for caring only for the rich as he insists her excursion in the Falkland Islands proves. One day his Ma comes home with a severely bruised face. She tells her concerned son she fell while fleeing from a flasher. The tweener initially accepts this explanation, but as time passes something seems wrong because his Ma seems too depressed for just a bad tumble running from a naked pervert and his Da displays temper he never had before; their fights frighten the child. Knowing the only way a child can learn the truth from concealing adults is by clandestinely listening while they argue behind closed doors. He hears his irate Da insisting they tell the police what really happened because the townsfolk believe he physically abused his wife; while Michael’s Ma refuses as she does not want to become labeled a foolish victim who got what she deserved. Bewildered Michael struggles to know what changed the demeanor of his parents. Closed Doors is a tense Thatcher Era Scottish family drama in which a dark pivotal moment radically changes the relationship dynamics. Whereas the adults go out of their way to hide the incident from their son because they believe he is too young to deal with the harrowing truth; the lad goes out of his way to uncover what really happened to his Ma. Readers will empathize with Michael as his fear-driven imagination of the unknown running out of control wild; and his family poorly coping with victimization following a heinous assault. Harriet Klausner

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