Author: D.M. Pulley
Publisher: Lake Union
Release Date: August 23, 2016
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
Very good historical account of 1952 Detroit and rural Michigan seen through the eyes of a young boy!
Nine year old Jasper Leary has just been abandoned at his uncle’s farm by his mother. Sure she has left him here before, but she was full of deception today. She just said they would visit for the day, but then she had a suitcase packed and everything. Jasper doesn’t know when he will see her again, so he tries to fall in line with his older cousin on the farm. Only problem is that he really misses his mom. When he discovers the old family house still has his mom’s childhood diary in it, he knows he must try to find her. Only problem is, so does everyone else it seems. Even a Detroit detective has shown up asking questions about her and where she is. After his father comes to pick him up and take him home, he stays with a neighbor and things happen in his apartment. In an attempt to get away, he ends up at some places a kid should never be, including a peep show and alone on a bus back to his uncle’s farm. Somehow, his mother is involved with the neighboring Indian reservation. There is death, destruction, and drug trafficking, but what does Jasper’s mother have to do with it?
I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. The whole book is told from Jasper’s viewpoint and Pulley does a great job of having this read like a nine year olds mind. And the trip down memory lane to 1952 was really fun too. It was a different time and she did a great job of showcasing the back streets of Detroit as well.
There is some disturbing material throughout the book, but it is really just how it is. It’s not a shock and awe that the author is trying to go for, it is just what could honestly happen to a lone nine year old boy. And all of the sexual taboo mentioned and portrayed throughout is not understood by Jasper. So, while the reader understands what is going on (and likely cringing) Jasper is just as confused as ever and never really gets to a point that he does understand. So, very well played out by Pulley.
Even so, I would not recommend this book for YA audiences. Likely that this book could be picked up by a university class at some point for a required reading.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through the TLC Book Tours. The views and opinions expressed throughout are mine.