Before My Eyes

Caroline Bock, Author
Caroline Bock. St. Martin’s Griffin, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-04558-4
Reviewed on: 11/11/2013
Release date: 02/11/2014
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-250-03566-0
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-250-03567-7
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Bock returns to the Long Island setting of her critically acclaimed first book for teens, LIE, as the lives of three young people intersect over a weekend. Claire’s mother has had a stroke and is in rehab, upending her family. Barkley, 21, has serious psychological problems, has bought a gun, and is sending threats to a state senator. Max’s father is that senator, and Max is having a miserable summer between his father’s reelection campaign and his own nascent addiction to painkillers. Bock’s story unfolds as an hour-by-hour account of the Labor Day weekend before Claire and Max’s senior year, told in three alternating points of view. Bock’s prose is fluid and resonant, and her characters fully realistic, although the clipped narration they share makes their voices sound overly similar. A sense of dread and the threat of violence hang over this gripping novel (the book opens with Barkley pulling out a gun at a campaign event for Max’s father), as do the failings of parents, friends, and society. Ages 14–up. Agent: Rachel Sussman, Chalberg & Sussman. (Feb.)
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