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Closed Doors    by Lisa O'Donnell order for
Closed Doors
by Lisa O'Donnell
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Thatcherism is at its height, Britain has just entered the Falklands War and in a small village on the West Coast of Scotland, eleven year old Michael Murray is about to be changed forever in this unforgettable coming of age novel.

Not only is this precocious youngster preparing for a talent show, engaging in his favorite game of hacky sack, and keeping an eye on his archnemesis who lives down the street, but he is also trying to piece together what is going on behind closed doors in his own family. Something really bad has happened to his mother but the youth doesn't know what.

Listening at closed doors to conversations grown-ups don't want him to hear, Michael looks for an explanation for the bruises on his mother's face. Was his father responsible? Some of the villagers think so but that may not be the truth. As the whispers at home and out in the village are too loud to ignore, this mere boy sets out to find the truth even though it will alter his life forever.

Told from Michael's perspective, this is a story that will hook you from the outset and keep you reading long into the evening. Lisa O'Donnell's first novel, The Death of Bees, won the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize and this latest effort is certainly as good if not better.

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