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    A compelling period piece and character study

    An interesting, if sad, look at grief and suffering from the perspective of a boy who grows into a young man. When his mother dies in a tragic accident he's the only witness to, Lewis withdraws into himself, baffling his father Gilbert, a very young and inexperienced new stepmother, and the entire town. I enjoyed the way Jones explored Lewis' ostracism at various stages in his youth, as well as the inner struggles of the people around him. She tackles tough subjects--excessive drinking, self-harm, domestic abuse--deftly. I particularly appreciated the depth and variety of the female characters, my one quibble with the book being that I felt the stepmother, Alice's, perspective was dropped in the last segment of the story and not used as effectively as it had been in the previous parts. I will gladly read more by Jones.

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