Don't Let Them Catch You by Molly Patterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Upfront I shall say that the author is the daughter of an ex work colleague. He proudly shared with me the publicity surrounding her first novel Rebellion. So I thought I would check out her writing. I found her website http://www.mollypattersonwriter.com/s... and this story available online at http://ir.uiowa.edu/iowareview/vol42/... .
This story is narrated in the voice of 11 year old Kaitlyn. She lives with her 14 year old sister, Brandy, and their mostly absent mother and attends piano lessons with Mrs Duncan which have been organised by her Uncle Mike before he left for military service in Afghanistan. Brandy is supposed to collect Kaitlyn from her lesson but doesn't and instead the young girl has to walk the 9 blocks home.
Her imagination runs riot, taking the story of a local kidnapping of a girl, Kaitlyn doesn't like the look in the eyes of car driver at the stop sign as she crosses the 4 laned street, in the man smoking on the stoop who scans her as she walk along the street. Patterson creates the voice of the young girl very well and her pacey prose sweeps you along as Kaitlyn walks home, her imagination tempering her fear by creating romanticised stories of her own abduction at the hands of a man whose house is "on top of a waterfall, somewhere in Italy or maybe Japan" who wants her "to play music for him for the rest of his life" Her beautiful playing makes him weep and "he has to set me free"
Once home she finds the door key is not in its hiding place and so she hides behind a bush until her sister returns home having been out with her much older boyfriend Chaz. She doesn't like being out in the dark as this is "when the thieves come out" and "the crazy people who could run up to you from behind and push you down on the ground". Kaitlyn is a typical latch key child, but not old enough, not responsible enough, to have her own key. She doesn't want to be alone in the house, she hates the TV being on with no one watching it, her sister too preoccupied 'making out' behind a locked bedroom door with Chaz. She know about not going anywhere alone with a stranger. But who consitutes a stranger? At school the teacher had asked if the mailman was a stranger and the class had chorused a resounding 'yes'. But outside of the classroom, just who does consitutes a stranger?
ashramblings verdict 4* Pacey prose, authentic voiced story of growing up alone.
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