Monday, January 21, 2008


Jacquelyn Mitchard is one of my favorite, favorite, favorite adult authors. I especially admire  her essay collection, THE REST OF US, because I think the pieces are so real, and down to earth, and they make me wish I could sit and have coffee with her some morning at Starbucks. I know we would be friends.

While I was at the Scholastic Book Fair, I came across CAGE OF STARS.I was surprised I had never heard of it or read reviews, but I threw it in the cart, simply because it was a Mitchard that I had not read. This weekend, I devoured it, and loved it.  It's not a kids' book, it is definitely written for adults, but I think there would mature middle schoolers or definitely high school readers who would enjoy it. 

Veronica (Ronnie) Swan is twelve years old, a Mormon girl living in a rural area in the mountains of Utah, when her two younger sisters are brutally murdered by Scott Early, a former pharmacy student, now struggling with schizophrenia. The book follows Ronnie and her family as they struggle through the swamp of their grief for the next few years.

Ultimately, Ronnie's parents find the strength and compassion to forgive Scott Early. Ronnie, however, cannot, and sets out to track down the killer and avenge the death of her sisters. She finds Early living in southern California with his wife and baby, changes her identity, and becomes the baby's nanny, all the while intending to inflict the same harm on Early's family that he had done to hers, years before.

This is a thriller, a page turner, a can't-put-it-down, even though you know you should be cleaning house,  or folding clothes, or doing school work. It's also a story of love, revenge, compassion, sin, and forgiveness. I loved it!

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