Playing with Matches: A Novel by Carolyn Wall
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a very uneven book. I loved all of the characters - smart talking Clea Shine, whose life begins with tragedy, her Auntie and all the relatives surrounding her, even the mystery children Wheezer and Finn. The setting is the rural South, complete with fields, a prison, a Bingo hall, and a river.
What I didn't like was the "mystery" of the book. It is written one way, and what happens that night carries through the rest of Clea's life. When the book flashes forward to her as an adult and she is STILL worried over it, I was surprised. Later on, a character gives a different account and yet even later on there is another account. So it is unclear exactly what happened, and that really makes to book fall apart.
However, the characters really do draw you into their world. I liked being able to see what happened to them and to have some issues resolved. But because of the mystery... this book only gets 3 stars.
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