JANE’S BOEKENTIPS

— MONOPOLY UPDATE: THE IRON HAS BEEN RETIRED AND A CAT IS NOW ON BOARD —

IN THE CASTLE OF THE FLYNNS by Michael Raleigh

Where have I been? Why did I not read this fabulous novel when it was first published in 2002? The good news is that I found this book and it does not make any difference that it is 10 years old.

IN THE CASTLE OF THE FLYNNS is the story of seven year old Danny and his extended family in 1954. Danny’s parents have been killed in a car accident and he is now an ”orphan” with lots of relatives. He lives with his grandparents and two uncles and has weekly visits with his other grandmother who lives nearby. This novel is about being an Irish Catholic boy in Chicago and having a large family who clearly love this little boy…but the relatives are not enough. There is a large hole in his life that slowly starts to heal. This book is about the world according to Danny.

Raleigh does a brilliant job of having a seven year old narrate this story, we see the streets of Chicago through his eyes. We walk and run the streets that he now makes his domain. We meet his relatives who are funny, troubled and full of love for Danny. Everyone is looking out for him, but they forget that he is right there…listening to all of the adult conversations. Danny goes through dresser drawers, hides under the table and snoops for any bit of information about his parents and all the crazy things that the grownups are doing.

This is a very funny book. It is also a sad story about grownups finding their way in life and not always succeeding. And there is Danny, a boy who mourns for his parents and yet is so fortunate to have this amazing group of flawed people in his life.

I really loved this book. I loved the voice of Danny and where this one year in his life went. I was sorry to reach the last page and I could not wait to tell my friends about this book. Put this book into your hands and start reading!

Big book news: four major writers have new books coming out this year.

  • Stephen King has written a sequel to one of his most popular books, THE SHINING. The new novel is called DOCTOR SLEEP.
  • Khaled Hosseini, author of THE KITE RUNNER and A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS, has AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED.
  • Jeannette Walls, who wrote THE GLASS CASTLE and HALF BROKE HORSES , has a new novel: THE SILVER STAR.
  • Kate Atkinson has a new book: LIFE AFTER LIFE. I also just found out that they have filmed a second season of CASE HISTORIES, based on Atkinson mysteries.
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Comments

  • Michael Raleigh  On February 7, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Hello Jane

    Marty Flint here in Chicago passed your Blog on to me. I want to thank you for your effusive praise for my book IN THE CASTLE OF THE FLYNNS. I’m deeply grateful for your kind words. FLYNNS is part of what my wife calls my “Boys Trilogy” — the two books that followed are THE BLUE MOON CIRCUS and THE CONJURER’S BOY (just out).

    Thank you again for your review. I have enjoyed looking over some of the other things you discuss.

    Best wishes

    Michael Raleigh

  • Leslie  On February 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Thanks for the recommendation Jane. I will see this book out! Leslie

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