DEAR Rec: The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane by Laird Koenig

If only my camp job ended a week sooner, I would surely be recommending a far greater book than this one. As it stands, that novel will have to wait for next week.
DEAR Rec: The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane
A fair warning: for once, I'd recommend watching the film before reading the novel. There are considerable differences between the two, though the questionable content of the story is easier to stomach when viewed on screen with all the performances and gorgeous color palette to distract and enhance the experience.
The questionable story? A 13 year old girl lives with her never seen father at the house at the end of the lane. The real estate agent, her alleged pedophile son, and all their money seem bent on eliminating any happiness the father and daughter may have. It's made very clear very soon, with her smoking of fancy French cigarettes and never ending supply of signed copies of her father's poetry book, that the girl is covering for his absence, but to what extent? To what length will this 13 year old go to protect her privacy and way of life?
The writing isn't anything spectacular, to be honest. The descriptions are plain, the vocabulary simple, the perspective even faulty at times. The novel does have very natural sounding dialogue and does capture the feeling of isolation and yearning for human contact inherent in life, but especially pervasive in teenage years.
When the action does pick up to something genuinely worthwhile, it's intense. The murders, the mystery, the cat and mouse game between the girl and the pedophile are all great highlights of the story.
Yet again I rec a book not in print. Your library will probably have the book. Netflix and Blockbuster have the DVD. At least give the film a shot for one of the most commanding leading performances ever captured on screen given by a teenage Jodi Foster.

Labels: DEAR rec