December 31, 2013

The Riverman by Aaron Starmer

Alistair is almost thirteen. He is a bit nerdy, not many friends, growing up in a small town in upstate New York. A rather strange neighbor, Fiona Loomis, knocks on Alistair's door. They haven't played together for years, and he hardly knows her anymore, but still, Fiona has chosen Alistair to write her biography,  trusting him with her secrets. Fiona's story is so unbelievable, so fantastic, that Alistair believes that it must be a fantasy that Fiona has created to reflect some horrible events in her life. As her story unfolds, Alistair is drawn into it, but can't quite believe it. His concern for her creates a conflict too great for him to deal with...does he seek the help he believes she needs, but then betray her trust?

The story unfolds slowly and beautifully, the reader never sure of where it is going. When I reviewed Aaron Starmer's The Only Ones, I said it was "weird, in the most literary way." After reading his second book, I can say that Aaron is one of the most creative children's writers out there. There is nothing formula about either books. There are lots of questions and psychological layers here, most a bit sophisticated for less mature readers. The Riverman will take you to unexpected places, some a bit dark, and when you finish, you will feel like you have been taken for an incredible ride that will leave you wondering, where have I just been? 
Reed Reads Reviews: 4.5

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