The Children: A Lesson in Appearances

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The Children: A Lesson in Appearances

My reading of The Children was marked by repeatedly having to re-read pages. But not because I fell asleep while trying to take it all in, or because the rhetoric was so dense I needed a second pass. No, Leary was dropping bombs in such a matter-of-fact way, I found myself constantly asking “excuse me, WHAT?!” before going in for round two. Loved it.

A story about an eccentric New England family and the secrets that they keep (herein lie the aforementioned bombs), the book reads like a comedy but feels like a thriller (if that makes much sense at all).  The novel is narrated by the arguably agoraphobic 29-year-old daughter who ironically runs a successful blog from the corners of her bedroom (how’s that for internet transparency), and documents a short period in which the family tries to come to material and psychological terms with the loss of one family member and the addition of another (in the form of a fiance’). As much about the deception of appearances as it is the strength of family ties, Leary’s captivating story is as witty as it is scandalous.

Kind of like an M. Night Shyamalan movie, you’re left guessing what the real “point” is up until the very end. And while the ball isn’t as hidden as the abbies in Wayward Pines (seriously, who saw that coming), it isn’t any less entertaining to put the pieces together and play detective.

It was a quick read, but not a frivolous one. I would highly recommend.


Want to discuss The Children? Drop a comment below. Warning to those who have yet to read the book: While we keep facts from the books out of our reviews, we consider the comment section an open forum to discuss the themes and happenings in the novel, so spoilers are bound to show up (and are encouraged). Read at your own risk.

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It was a quick read, but not a frivolous one.

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The Children by Ann Leary


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