Whistling in the Dark – Lesley Kagen

Title: Whistling In the Dark
Author: Lesley Kagen
ISBN: 9780451221230
Pages: 336
Release Date: May 1, 2007
Publisher: NAL Trade
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Rating: 3 out of 5

From the back cover:

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.

I’ve read a lot of great reviews of Whistling In the Dark, so when I picked it up, I expected an extremely enjoyable read. While it was a well-written book, I can’t say I found it as compelling as others have. I also read this book during the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon, and I wonder if that had something to do with my lack of enthusiasm for this novel.

The story is told from the point of view of Sally, an eleven year old girl living in 1959, and I think that’s where the book lost me. I don’t think I really enjoy books told from the point of view of children. Still, Kagen writes Sally’s innocence well, although her thought processes seem a bit advanced for her age.

The mystery of Whistling In the Dark is definitely the driving force of the novel. It’s why I kept on with it, though I didn’t identify with the narrator. It’s very well-crafted and not really obvious at all. However, I did pick up on some of the “twists” of the novel and knew they were coming long before they actually occurred in the novel.

Though Whistling In the Dark wasn’t for me, that doesn’t mean it is a poorly written book or that you shouldn’t give it a try. I didn’t really enjoy the choice of narrator, but if you think you might like it, you should definitely read it!

Comments

  1. Wow, you read this a while ago! I have it on Mt. TBR and am looking forward to it. Sorry it wasn’t a better read for you, though. Sucks when that happens, especially when it’s a book everyone’s loving… kinda makes you feel like, “Did I miss something?”

  2. Wow, you read this a while ago! I have it on Mt. TBR and am looking forward to it. Sorry it wasn’t a better read for you, though. Sucks when that happens, especially when it’s a book everyone’s loving… kinda makes you feel like, “Did I miss something?”

  3. Interesting storyline indeed but the child POV would drive me nuts as well.

  4. Interesting storyline indeed but the child POV would drive me nuts as well.

  5. Sorry you didn’t like this one. I think it sounds interesting, though I’m not too keen on adult books narrated by kids. It works sometimes, so I’d be willing to give it a try.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  6. Sorry you didn’t like this one. I think it sounds interesting, though I’m not too keen on adult books narrated by kids. It works sometimes, so I’d be willing to give it a try.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  7. I do like books written from a child’s point of view, so this one sounds good to me.

  8. I do like books written from a child’s point of view, so this one sounds good to me.

  9. I read this a couple of years ago and I am one of those who loved it. I agree that the the thought process was a little advanced but I tend to ignore that aspect unless it is absolutely unbelievable. I also thought at times it was laugh out loud funny. Isn’t that the way it goes though, you find a book you love and think everyone would love it and then discover not everyone shares your opinion!! LOL

  10. I read this a couple of years ago and I am one of those who loved it. I agree that the the thought process was a little advanced but I tend to ignore that aspect unless it is absolutely unbelievable. I also thought at times it was laugh out loud funny. Isn’t that the way it goes though, you find a book you love and think everyone would love it and then discover not everyone shares your opinion!! LOL

  11. Great review! This one actually sounds like a good match for me.

  12. Great review! This one actually sounds like a good match for me.

  13. I almost picked this book up last week. It was sitting on the table of books that are part of the deal for 4 books 10$. It looked good, but had some apprehensions about it, but it might not be to bad after all.

  14. I almost picked this book up last week. It was sitting on the table of books that are part of the deal for 4 books 10$. It looked good, but had some apprehensions about it, but it might not be to bad after all.

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