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The Runaway Paperback – October 30, 2015
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The Runaway is a brilliant book. I cannot compliment it enough. The book has multiple narrators and the chapter alternate between the viewpoints of each one. I really enjoyed this and thought it worked really well. The chapter title states the character and year(s) so there’s no chance in getting confused. This structure helps to create a vivid picture of the past and present of each character and how the little narrative threads join together. The events connecting all of the characters are gradually revealed, compelling you to read on to see where the next dot connects. I thought all of the characters were well-written, almost painfully real, especially Sarah, Ellie and Jeff. The book ends up being a bit darker than I expected. I love it when authors surprise me. I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes several times. I also really loved the cover as well. It drew me.
Ms. Barney weaves an intricate tale of desperation, loneliness, abuse and eventually salvation that takes the reader through the complicated, yet interwoven lives of several different people. There are struggles and horrors described in this novel that can be difficult to swallow, but unfortunately they are a reality in our society. Ms. Barney does an excellent job of building her characters (you love them, you hate them, you feel for them). I found this novel impossible to put down and when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it.
I’ve read other books from this author, she has an uncanny knack of delving into emotional issues and portraying them vividly. I would highly recommend this story (spoiler: the author does not hold back on the horrors many of our runaway children and teenagers experience, so this is not for the faint of heart).
This book was provided to me for free for an honest and unbiased review (see all our reviews at http://www.bookexplosions.com/ or on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/131875-book-explosions )
A few things stuck with me though, like the loneliness and mixed up lives of all the characters. Wondering what they had in common and were they related.
I have never read a book with so many 1st person lead characters and it quite confused me.
That said the characters were strong and well established and I could picture each one.
The cleaning of the graffiti stuck with me too.
Thank you to Jo Barney for a copy of this for an honest review, I will look forward to reading more.