Rated of 5
by Molly K. (San Jose, CA)
Inside the Cootie Catcher
Twenty years ago, schoolmates Celia and Djuna nurtured a toxic alliance with each other and three other schoolmates, whom they controlled with acts of approval and contempt, meted out daily. One day, Celia followed Djuna into the woods, while the others remained behind. Djuna got into a passing car and was never seen again.
Now, Celia is a successful business woman living in Chicago with her long-term boyfriend, Huck. She remembers the incident clearly and knows that she lied to the authorities and to everyone else. Celia returns to her parents home, ready to confess to them, the police, and her schoolmates.
The premise of this book is enticing; a mystery to solve, childhood memories, family relationships, and the hope of redemption. I was prepared to read it in one sitting!
The book is beautifully written, and Myla Goldberg's descriptions of place and use of metaphor is superb. Still, Celia, Huck, and Celia's family never come to life, It isn't that I don't like them; I do. I just don't much care what happens to them. Their relationships remain static throughout, and there is no promise or hint of growth.
In the end, the story really belongs to the three schoolmates and their lives as adults.
I was happy to come to the last page.