Author: Karen Winn
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publication Date: May 3, 2022
Book Description: July 1985. It’s a normal, sweltering New Jersey summer for soon-to-be seventh grader Bee Kocsis. Her thoughts center only on sunny days spent at Deer Chase Lake, on evenings chasing fireflies around her cul-de-sac with the neighborhood kids, and on Max, the boy who just moved in across the street. There’s also the burgeoning worry that she’ll never be as special as her younger sister, Audrina, who seems to effortlessly dazzle wherever she goes.
But when Max’s little sister, Sally, goes missing at the lake, Bee’s long-held illusion of stability is shattered in an instant. As the families in her close-knit community turn inward, suspicious and protective, things in Bee’s own home become increasingly strained, most of all with Audrina, when a shameful secret surfaces. With everything changed, Bee and Audrina’s already-fraught sisterhood is pushed to the limit as they grow up—and apart—in the wake of an innocence lost too soon.
Perfect for readers of Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You, Our Little World is a powerful and lyrical coming-of-age story that examines the complicated bond of sisterhood, the corrosive power of envy, and how the traumas of our youths can shape our identities for a lifetime.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Review: I am honestly not sure how I received a copy of this book, but I am absolutely glad I did. In the same vain as Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You, this is the story about a family whose life is forever changed when a little girl from across the street goes missing one summer day.
Set in 1985, New Jersey, Bee is starting 7th grade. Her sister Audrina, a year younger, and one of her only friends are inseparable. When they are invited to go to the lake with their new neighbors and their two children, everything seems perfect, until the neighbors 4 year old mysteriously disappears.
We spend the next year with this family dealing with the aftermath, but also, everything that goes along with this family. The family faces another tragedy that rocks all them so hard, we are not sure if there is way for any of them to walk away unscathed.
This is a coming of age story at it’s core, but has a strong literary mystery. This is a powerful story that will give you a knot in your stomach as the story progresses. It can only be this way because of the way Winn makes you feel part of this family. I am not sure why I am not seeing this on must read lists, at least yet, but it definitely is in my opinion. Take a chance on this, I don’t think you will regret it.
Thank you NetGalley and Dutton for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.