A young girl has been murdered and the only witness is a child who cannot tell what he saw.
In the woods of a small town, Adam, a nine-year-old autistic boy, is discovered hiding near to the body of his classmate. They both wandered off from the school playground several hours earlier, and now the police are relying on Adam as the only witness to an appalling crime. But he can't tell the police what he sawor what he heard. Barely verbal on the best of days, Adam has retreated into a silent world that Cara, his mother, knows only too well.
With her community in shock and her son unable to help with the police investigation, Cara tries to decode the puzzling events. Adam has never broken the rules before, so why did he disappear with the little girl during recess? As a single mother, Cara has devoted her life to opening paths of communication between her son and the outside world. Now, she must interpret the changes in Adam's behavior not only to help him through the trauma, but to help the police catch a killer. Cammie McGovern brings her own experience as the mother of an autistic child to articulate the strugglesand the victoriesthat consume the lives of parents raising children with special needs. A powerful story of the tangled emotional bond between mother and son, and a thrilling novel of psychological suspense, Eye Contact won't let you go. Lovers of Mystic River will be captivated by this fresh and fascinating journey into the world of a child in crisis and a mother who longs to bring him through unscathed.
Kevin is fine, Miss Lattimore, their fifth-grade
teacher told them. Just fine. Hes had a little bit of brain damage, thats
all. She held up her hand, thumb and forefinger out, so they all saw: Just an
inch of brain damage. If he has trouble doing certain things, like talking, for
instance, or getting around, remember: inside hes just the same. She closed
her inch-measuring fingers into a fist and thunked her chest. He has exactly
the same feelings you do.
Cara and Suzette eyed each other. Suzettes fathers secretary was Kevins aunt. They already knew Kevin wasnt fine, that he used a walker and could only operate one side of his face. Drool was a problem, as was the bathroom. Kevin used to be a regular boy no one thought much about until last summer when he rode his bike helmetless down the long hill of Brewster Boulevard into the side of a Pepperidge ...
Eye Contact has a wide cast of characters (one reviewer felt a few too many) but they are all well-drawn and, on the whole, ring true. The most richly imagined are Cara, Adam's mother, and Morgan, a troubled 13-year-old boy who's determined to solve the crime as a way to atone for his own perceived guilt. McGovern wraps all these richly drawn characters, and a host of astute insights, around a gripping mystery which twists and turns down a good few dead ends before arriving at its unexpected conclusion.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (742 words).
Like Cara, Cammie McGovern is the mother of an autistic boy; she says that about four years ago she started writing a nonfiction account of the time just before and after her son's diagnosis. However, she eventually put the memoir aside to return to fiction because she says, "I knew how to create a story and keep it moving along with suspense and surprises better than I knew how to report the countless ways that those years were hard and lonely for our family." She's glad that she returned to the familiar medium of fiction (she's the author of one previous novel, The Art of Seeing, 2002 and many short stories) because she says there are so many wonderful memoirs written by parents already - two of her favorites...
If you liked Eye Contact, try these:
Jason Stafford is a former Wall Street hotshot who made some bad moves, paid the price with two years in prison, and is now trying to put his life back together. He's unemployable, until an investment firm asks him to look into possible problems left by a junior trader who died recently in an accident. What he discovers is big - there are ...
The former residents of The Hawthorne House School for the Treatment of Autistic Children attend the first-ever reunion 15 years after the school closes, but events turn into a bloody nightmare when the school's founder is found tortured to death in the basement.
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