When 12-year-old Max Baker and his four-year old sister Sally moved next door to the Kocsis family, life would never be the same for the small town of Hammend, New Jersey. It was June 1985 and the world had seemed like a sweet, safe place to sisters Bee and Audrina Kocsis. Close in age, 12-year-old Bee was the good student, and a bit of a tomboy and Audrina was the beautiful one exuding great confidence, with everyone falling under her spell. As this emotional, coming-of-age book begins, Bee is looking back at her childhood, and we learn that tragedy is just around the corner.
Once the world of this small community starts to fall apart, relationships are challenged, including the close bond of the two sisters who had previously managed to work through their differences. But their sadness, along with lies, jealously and guilt, take them to the breaking point. Our Little World is Karen Winn’s impressive writing debut. Her childhood in New Jersey provided the author with lots of inspiration to tell a story about life in a seemingly idyllic town. The characters in this book were well developed and their pain rang very true. This haunting book left me weeping.
Many thanks to Dutton Books | Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this moving novel in advance of its release. Having raised my family in a nearby town to the one that inspired this book, Our Little World felt extremely real and perhaps a little too close for comfort. I highly recommend reading it – just keep some Kleenex nearby.
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Contemporary and Historical Fiction, Coming of Age.
Publication Date: May 3, 2022.
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