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They Never Came Back Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 12, 2010
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From School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
Although an interesting premise, the "danger" of revealing her identity seems over-exaggerated. The drama of the other students' fascination with Murielle's parents is also overwrought, especially considering the dry nature of the explanations of the embezzlement.
Might be mildly interesting to fans of the author.
We both enjoyed this school story with a mysterious twist. The cover is a little creepy, but the premise isn't really. One day Cathy Ferris is eating lunch in the cafeteria when a classmate, Tommy, comes over to her insisting she's his cousin Murielle. Five years ago Murielle's parents disappeared, fleeing persecution from embezzlement. At first his 10-year-old cousin Murielle lived with them, but when his parents were suspected to be in on the scheme, she was put in foster care, where she was lost in the system.
The story is told in alternating chapters from Cathy's and Murielle's points of view (present and past) as the truth of the situation is revealed.
This book is neither creepy nor scary, as the title and cover might lead you to believe. It moves along at a nice pace, though it isn't completely suspenseful (This is a good thing for me, so don't read it as a negative. I can't read too many heart-thumping action-packed novels without fearing for my cardiovascular health).
CONTENT NOTE: The content is very clean in this novel featuring 15-year-olds. There's some very very mild crushing going on, but no other "mature" behavior or cursing, as far as I remember, which makes it a perfect book for those older middle grade readers (4th and up) who are looking for more "grown up" reading fare, yet it's also appropriate enough for older middle school readers looking for a clean read.
AUDIOBOOK NOTES: Suzy Jackson's voice was upbeat and pert and was a delight to listen to.
Chapter one is about Cathy. She is enrolled in a special accelerated summer school. The program squeezes one full year of Latin into a summer course. Her focus is Latin morning, noon, and night. One afternoon in the cafeteria, Cathy is shocked when a boy named Tommy approaches her table and calls her Murielle. He even drops to his knees before her as he insists she is his long-lost cousin. He claims she was taken from his home five years ago by social services. Then he adds that she had been abandoned by her parents, who were guilty of stealing millions of dollars from business investors. Suddenly, Cathy is the center of attention.
Chapter two begins with Murielle. Ten-year-old Murielle is a lucky girl. Her parents are in the financial investment business, and they are able to provide her with anything her heart desires. She is used to living in a fancy house, having pretty clothes, new things whenever she wants, and private lessons in just about anything she is interested in doing. Even though they are constantly working and leave her in the care of various babysitters and housekeepers, Murielle thinks her parents are terrific.
One afternoon, Murielle is with her Aunt Lois headed toward the airport. The plan is that her aunt will be dropping her off to catch a flight with her father. They will be flying to England where they will meet up with her mother.Read more ›
From reading "They Never Came Back", it reminds me of a situation where an adopted/kidnapped child might come face-to-face with his/her biological family. I often wonder what social media might do to someone, such as an adoptee, who sees a lookalike online (via Facebook, YouTube and/or a dating site), who could be a relative, and how such an experience might feel.
"They Never Came Back" takes us into the lives of Cathy/Muriel and how a possible case of mistaken identity has occurred. This novel has undertones of "The Face On the Milk Carton" and its follow-ups, but it is a completely different story. At first, it might take some time getting used to switching back-and-forth between Cathy's story/Muriel's story, yet it makes sense.
I highly recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the best book ever. Love the way it ends. It's so sad though. Caroline B. Cooney is an amazing author.Published on November 1, 2013 by Sapphirekk
If you like a book that will keep you up at night not wanting to put it down, this it the one for you.Published on September 7, 2013 by elizabeth
The author weaves the tale with believable twists and turns. You are not quite sure which story to believe until the final chapters. Most teenage girls will enjoy this story.Published on July 13, 2013 by Judy
A little boring I have to say. It just moves a little to slow for for someone who doesn't mind slow moving books this book should be great for themPublished on May 20, 2013 by love it
I wonder if there a sequel if anybody knows please write a review telling me the title
but I also really liked this book with all the rising action