Thursday, May 8, 2008

Review: Whistling in the Dark

Whistling in the Dark

Lesley Kagen

It was the summer of 1959 in Milwaukee when things started going bad. Although, for Sally O’Malley, things were already bad to begin with. Her favorite person in the whole world, her Sky King, her dad, died as a result of a car crash. Her mom remarries just two months later to a drunk. But in that summer, things go from bad to worse. Her mom leaves Sally and her sister Troo in the hands of their drunken stepfather when she has to go to the hospital. Sally tries to watch out for her sister all the time since she promised their dad she would. And, the police have found another dead girl. Now, Sally is convinced that she is the next girl on the murderer’s list, but no one will believe her. Will she be able to reveal the truth about the murders, and the truth about herself, before it’s too late?

Lesley Kagen impressed me very much in her wonderful portrayal of the late 1950’s with her novel Whistling in the Dark. This novel also brought to light the racial and ethnic discrimination that was there at the time. While it was not a major focal point of the novel, it forced me to think deeper about the novel, casting a more serious light to this novel about children.

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