May 6, 2007 archive

The Bright Forever – Book Review

If you want to listen, you’ll have to trust me. Or close the book; go back to your lives. I warn you: this is a story as hard to hear as it is for me to tell. -From The Bright Forever, page 4-

Lee Martin’s novel, The Bright Forever, is captivating. It grabs the reader by the throat and compels them to continue reading despite knowing that the end will not be a happy one. Martin uses multiple points of view to tell the story of nine year old Katie Mackey who disappears one bright day in her small Indiana town. At once horrifying and far too real, the novel reveals what happened to Katie through the senses of its various characters. The reader will feel like a voyeur while watching the story unfold – much like the ravenous public in today’s world who watch hours of footage revealing the latest headline tragedy.

Henry Dees, a private tutor who has been teaching Katie and become obsessed with her, is the primary narrator. He appears both cunning and painfully lost and by the end of the novel, the reader will question his reliability to tell the truth. Henry, along with all the characters, harbor secrets which they reveal as the story unfolds.

Well-crafted, suspenseful, a real page-turner – The Bright Forever will be a novel not easily forgotten.


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