Touch by Francine Prose (June 1st 2009—Harper Teen)
Grade: 2.5 stars out of 5
Summary: “Something happened to fourteen-year-old Maisie Willard—something involving her three friends, all boys. But their stories don't match, and the rumors spin out of control. Then other people get involved . . . the school, the parents, the lawyers. The incident at the back of the bus becomes the center of Maisie's life and the talk of the school, and, horribly, it becomes news. With just a few words and a touch, the kids and their community are changed forever.”
Review: Touch by Francine Prose was one of those books that received so much attention before the release. I was super excited to begin the book because how can you not with that summary!?
First person view is the most unreliable source as Prose demonstrates. In this type of book she picked the right match. Both the reader and the narrator have trouble understanding what truly happen in the back of the bus, and somewhere in the multiple retellings Maisie lost the truth. In an ongoing therapy session we uncover Maisie’s life before and after the incident. There is also, however, a downside to first person because of bias attitude particularly to the stepmother.
The theme is more cynical than the average “the wheels on the bus go round and round” childhood song. No in this back of the bus we break out the attorney. I kind of expected some gut wrenching emotions because of the serious topic but the narration kept it going from that path.
The characterizations for some were wonderful. I enjoyed the ironic nature of her mother’s new husband to Maisie’s character. While she grows, he reverts back to that of a child. I liked some, but didn’t like others.
One thing that I disliked was how the story went back and forth. You were taking 2 steps forward then 1 step back, retelling the same thing over, and over again. Then the ending told the whole story again but in the truth. Left me a bit sad that in the end it was a hoax—that Maisie wasn’t really the complete victim that she led along.
Kind of liked the dingy look?
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