"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

26 July 2017

2017 Book Review #22: the tiger in the house

The first thing that grabbed my attention at the library with this book was that the author chose to use lower case letters in her title.  The 2nd thing was the art work on the cover....the little girl, although you can't see her face, captured my heart.  She is 5 in this story.


 It is the end of the summer in Portland, Maine.

Richard and Jen (minor characters who only appear in chapter 1) are out one evening when they discover a little girl at the side of the road.  She is bare foot, wearing only underpants and a tee shirt.  She had been crying...they notice the tear streaks running down her cheeks.  She can only tell them her first name: "Hayley".  They immediately call the police.

Delia Lamont loves her job as a caseworker for the Foster Family Services in Portland, Maine.  But the frustrations that come with this type of social work have left her feeling burned out and exhausted.  She has just given notice that she will be leaving the career she has done ever since college, to join her younger sister Juniper, also known as J Bird, in opening up a cafe/bakery.

But then  she gets the call from her boss, Ira, about a little 5 year old girl named Hayley. Hayley was found on the side of the road near a house that held 3 dead people:  a man of unknown origin, a man named Raymond, and a woman named Emma. Hayley says her mommy is in the "naughty place". 

Hayley does not know her mommy's or daddy's names.  During the investigation and  the placement of Hayley in emergency foster care, Delia and Ira discover that Hayley was with people involved in a major drug ring.  She and her mother had been kidnapped and Hayley's only clue is "bacca barn".

As Delia works on discovering to where and whom Hayley belongs, she is forced to look into her own difficult history.  Delia's parents are both dead from a horrible house fire when Delia was just 19 years old and J Bird was only 13.  Their dad's best friend Ben, the local veterinarian, took them in and has been their 2nd dad ever since.  Delia must face painful truths regarding her dad's schizophrenia and her first love, Tyler.

Meanwhile, J Bird learns about a devastating secret about Ben and Delia meets one of the police detectives on the Hayley case, Mike Moretti.  All of a sudden, renewing her relationship with Tyler, is taking a backseat to forming a friendship with Mike.  

Delia must make some choices about diving into helping Hayley and in finding the mother, along with facing some deep, dark truths of her own life, and examining the dark corners of her own soul.


This book was excellent.  I had never read anything by this author but I noticed her books were popular so I am going to look for one of her other ones at our library.

The character development is wonderful....rich characters whom you seem to just know and love.  I like that there weren't too many, and I also like that she opened the book with 2 minor character and closed the book with a minor character.  She also incorporates a family pet in to the story which gave the plot a special twist of love and affection. 

The story speaks about drug/heroin addiction, abandonment, grief, loss, sisterly love, romantic love, schizophrenia, familial duty.  The relationship between Delia and J Bird is especially lovely....I like that the author brought out their strengths as well as their weaknesses, making them even more believable.

The underlying theme seems to be family relationships that survive tragedies.

The only thing I did not like were the many editing errors.  I can't blame the author for those!

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 9.  (it would get a 10 if not for all the editing errors.).

1 comment:

Susanne said...

This sounds really good. Am going to look on my library site for it. The editing errors would drive me nuts too.