This book consists of fourteen short stories about Michael and Terry, two cousins whose lives are spoiled by an early tragedy. Each of the stories stands alone but, read together, they provide a view of the cousins’ difficult lives – one ending up in prison and the other racked with guilt. Tim recounts the stories and the assumption is that he is Michael in the story, but has chosen not the write the stories in the first person.
There is a second part to the book in which SE Hinton discusses her writing and her books.
The writing in these stories is terse, beautiful and captivating. In fourteen short stories SE Hinton is able to depict clearly the characters of Mike and Terry. They come to life on the page and the voice of the narrator, Tim, rings true. This is a book that clearly demonstrates the power of writing although it may disappoint readers looking for a good, old fashioned story to get their teeth into. This is more a book to make you think, to let you fill in the gaps, to ponder over.