Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Ames lives a good life with her parents and younger sister. They take family vacations together, enjoy each other’s company, and have everything they want – a nice house, friends, and luxuries. Little does Ames know, but everything is about to come crashing down around her.
After returning home from a Christmas vacation isolated in Alaska, Ames begins to hear the rumblings of rumors at school. Rumors involving her father and something that happened at work. At first, she doesn’t give it a second thought. Her parents have always been open with her and she knows her father would tell her if anything was wrong, but soon she can’t ignore the fact that her parents are acting strange. Her mother is openly angry and belittles her father and her father hides in his office all day and won’t talk to anyone.
Eventually, Ames finds out her father lost a lot of money at work doing something illegal and cleaned out all of their personal savings in an attempt to pay it back. They are left with nothing. Forced to move away from her best friend and everything she has known, Ames is angry.
Ames gets even more surprises when they move to Texas to live in a rent house that belongs to her dad’s parents. It is while working on the mess inside the house when she meets Marc. With only Marc to help her with the worst jobs in the house she begins to feel a connection to him. He offers attention, support, and protection from her parents and their misplaced anger. Ames feels betrayed by her parents and only Marc gives her back a feeling of power, but can she afford to pay the price it takes to get back at them?
DARK SONG is a fast-paced, intense story. The reason it only received 3 pitchforks is because I felt Ames fell into Marc’s trap a little too easily. I also felt the family dynamics didn’t ring true. While I understand the anger that would be in the household, I didn’t feel Ames parents would have turned on her as much as they did. After discussing this book with a colleague, I was told I felt this way because I didn’t have any experience with dysfunctional families. So, my question to you is, what do you think? Did the story work for you?
My favorite character in the story was Ames’ little sister Chrissy. She is the smartest and most insightful character in the book.