Tuesday, September 13, 2011
REVIEW: The Facts Speak For Themselves (but don't use quotation marks)
Appetizer: Thirteen-year-old Linda was escorted into the police interrogation room with blood still under her nails. After being interrogated about the deaths of two men (a murder-suicide situation between the boyfriend and boss of her mother that Linda is somehow at the center of), Linda is separated from her little brothers and mother, who need her to watch over them, to stay at a center run by nuns.
She has meetings with a social worker to discuss her childhood of abuse, discrimination, abandonment and responsibility over her brothers.
Linda's story is touching, heartbreaking and the amount of responsibility she took on at such a young age is shocking.
This can be a wonderful book to give voice to the secret pains and dark scars that many children and adults have.
Although, as I was reading, I did wish that quotation marks were used to better mark dialogue.
This book may be dark, but it is also real...and difficult to put down after you start reading. (I know that if it were a movie, I'd hate it. It's kind of like Requiem for a Dream. You just know things are going to get worse and worse.)
"The woman policeman says why don't you come in here, and so I went. It was a little room with a table and some chairs. That was all. Instead of a window, there was a big mirror. I wouldn't look at that. I didn't want to see myself. I sad down and folded my hands. There was still blood under my nails, so after a minute I put them under the table" (p. 9).
"Listen, young lady, Sister says. You're not in charge anymore. This is a difficult situation, and it's going to take a little time to straighten out. Two men are dead, she says and bites her lip.
What two men?
Mr. Green and Mr. Perry.
That was how I found out. Jack had died in the ambulance and Frank had walked down into the basement of the parking ram and shot himself" (p. 20).
"I gave her the facts, and she wrote them up in a preliminary report. I know, because I got it out of her bag when she came back one afternoon to warn me about what was going to happen.
There's going to be a hearing, she says, and I want you to be as straight with the judge as you are with me" (p. 23).
"I want to write my own preliminary report, I said.
She looked at me a long time.
I think that's a very good idea, she says finally.
Will they read it?
Yes, she says. I'll make sure they do" (p. 25).
"Looked at in a certain way, the whole history of the world seemed arranged so we could meet that first time.
He said we were doomed by circumstance. Our fate was in the facts" (p. 141).
Tasty Rating: !!!