Genre: Historical Fiction, Coming of Age, Mystery
Reading Challenges: 15 for 100+ in 2009
Sally O'Malley knows what's really going on. At least, she knows more than any of the adults in her life would believe possible. It is 1959, and Sally is missing her father, who recently died in a car accident which occurred in the company of Sally's uncle and her little sister Troo. Sally made some promises to her father before he died, and the most important is that she would look after her sister. Sally, who is delightfully earnest, has every intention of following through to the letter. In the meantime, someone is murdering and molesting little girls on Vliet street, the street where Sally is now living after her mother's hasty remarriage to her new stepfather, Hall. Sally thinks she knows who is up to no good, and all she is hoping for is to protect her sister and herself. This will be difficult, as Sally's mother is in the hospital, and the rumors are that she might never be coming out. Sally and Troo are on their own.
I so enjoyed this book. Sally was a wonderful character. As with all children, Sally was aware of so many of the things going on in the community. She might have drawn the wrong conclusions, but only because of her lack of experience. The most difficult part about reading this book was that I longed to throw my arms around both Sally and Troo (they were so lovable), and bring them to my house to protect them from the things that threatened them. The book is less a mystery than a coming of age story, but the mystery aspect of the story was satisfying as well. There were also many poignant moments in this book that brought the hint of tears to my eyes, especially those related to parents and children. I don't want to give anything away as far as storyline, so let me just say, read this book! You won't be sorry.