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Title: Our Little World
Author: Karen Winn
Publication Date: May 3, 2022
Page Count: 352
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
July 1985. It’s a normal, sweltering New Jersey summer for soon-to-be seventh grader Bee Kocsis. Her thoughts center only on sunny days spent at Deer Chase Lake, on evenings chasing fireflies around her cul-de-sac with the neighborhood kids, and on Max, the boy who just moved in across the street. There’s also the burgeoning worry that she’ll never be as special as her younger sister, Audrina, who seems to effortlessly dazzle wherever she goes.
But when Max’s little sister, Sally, goes missing at the lake, Bee’s long-held illusion of stability is shattered in an instant. As the families in her close-knit community turn inward, suspicious and protective, things in Bee’s own home become increasingly strained, most of all with Audrina, when a shameful secret surfaces. With everything changed, Bee and Audrina’s already-fraught sisterhood is pushed to the limit as they grow up—and apart—in the wake of an innocence lost too soon.
Perfect for readers of Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You, Our Little World is a powerful and lyrical coming-of-age story that examines the complicated bond of sisterhood, the corrosive power of envy, and how the traumas of our youths can shape our identities for a lifetime.
Our Little World by Karen Winn is definitely an adult fiction novel despite some marking this one as young adult. The story in Our Little World is told by a young protagonist making this a historical mystery story with part coming of age with adult content.
Bee Kocsis was only twelve in the summer of 1985 when things in her life would change forever making this a summer she certainly would never forget. Bee was with her family at the local lake, Deer Chase Lake, swimming with her younger sister, Audrina, when Bee comes out of the water to an odd scene.
Adults all around are frantically searching and Bee finds out her friend and neighbor, little four year old Sally, has gone missing. When Sally is not found that summer day Bee and her family need to learn to navigate the tragedy of someone close to them missing with Bee and Drina’s relationship struggling in the aftermath.
Our Little World by Karen Winn may not be for everyone but as an adult reader that enjoys the occasional young adult too I immediately fell into this story and became engrossed in this one. Mixing a coming of age with a tragic event is not your normal mystery novel and I always enjoy finding those that are outside of the box so it wasn’t surprising that I was enjoying this. There was also much more to the characters lives past the initial mystery so I definitely had the pages turning faster and faster to see how it would all work out with the author filling this debut with so much emotion too.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Karen Winn received her MFA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She also holds a doctoral degree in nursing. Born and raised in New Jersey, Karen now lives in Boston with her husband and two children. Our Little World is her first novel.
I’m reading this one now. It’s excellent so far. Nice review, Carrie!