Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: February 2008
Duration: 6 hours 25 minutes
Arthur Parkinson is fourteen during the dreary winter of 1974, experiencing the confusing pangs of adolescence and the pain of his parents' divorce. His world is shattered further by the sudden and violent death of Annie Marchand, his beloved former babysitter. Narrated by the adult Arthur, who continues to be haunted by memories, the story of a young man's unraveling family and the circumstances leading up to Annie's death form the backdrop for an intimate tale of the price of love and belonging, told in a spare, translucent, and unexpectedly tender voice.
"O'Nan is a skilled writer who views the lives of his working-class characters with unsentimental compassion; he understands how they are entrapped by social background and stark economics as well as their own personal inadequacies-in Annie's case, her impetuous reactions and fierce temper. The novel's elegiac tone is perfectly controlled, and angst and the lingo of male adolescence are rendered with wry fidelity. But O'Nan's triumph is Annie; in spite of her faults, readers will empathize as she makes the mistakes that will bring her heartbreaking life to an end."-Publishers Weekly