The Last Child: 13-year-old Johnny searches for missing twin sister while dealing with family issues
The Last Child (#1 Merrimon), John Hart
Genre: General Fiction, Mystery
Published 2009, 373 pages
He watched the grief take her down. It broke her at the waist. She splayed her hands on the ground, dug her fingers into soft earth. “Make it stop,” she whispered.
Boy, this book just rips at your heart. Johnny’s family is torn apart after his twin sister goes missing. Then, a while later, his father leaves. Both Johnny and his mother are devastated by these two losses. His mother turns to pills and alcohol and gets involved with an abusive man who just tramples her into the ground, emotionally and physically.
A year later Johnny is still hoping his Dad will come home and he continues his own search for his sister, with the help of his best friend Jack. Jack will break your heart, a kid trying to act tough when dealing with an abusive father and brother, and his own disability. A local cop, Detective Hunt, keeps an eye on Johnny and his mother and tries to discourage him from his search. But Johnny's determination and stubbornness have to be admired.
Surprises abound in this book. A couple of times I thought, 'Wow, I didn’t see that coming'. There is one tragic turn after another that just put me through the ringer, but I couldn't put it down.
One thing that bothered me quite a bit was the number of typos in my library book edition. Do you notice typos when you read? Does it bother you? I assume the publication of a book is the same wherever you get it – check it out at the library, buy it at a book store or online, it’s the same book, right? Well, this one was filled with typos and also a couple inconsistencies from one paragraph to the next with what was happening. This was disappointing.
Nevertheless, I really liked the book and think it would be a great read for a book club with plenty of issues to discuss.
photos by Terrie Purkey