Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Patty Pick for 8/4/16 is "after her" by Joyce Maynard
With references to some of the details from the true story of the Trailside Serial Killer, Joyce Maynard works her magic in this fiction tale of two sisters caught up in the midst of the tragedy.
Rachel and Patty share a very special sister relationship. For many years, Patty, Rachel's younger sister only talks through Rachel. They lean and protect each other through life after their father left the marriage and home when they were young. Their mom lives in a deeply depressed state most of the time. She works a low wage job, but comes home to hide in her room with books from the public library for companionship. The sisters are often left to find their own food and explore the mountain trails behind their home. The fact that they use the back windows of their neighbors to watch TV
shows that are popular during the time was a touching storyline.
Their father is a local police detective in Marin County, California who is picked to head the investigation of a murder on the mountain which turns into many murders.
The charismatic officer, Anthony Torricello, leaves his daughters to move away and continue his unending affair with women when they were young. Once the murders happen, he is the face of the police department investigation. Watching him unravel, the girls try to find a way to help.
Rachel is a aspiring writer and continues to fill notebooks with her writing. She thinks
solving the case will bring her father home again. Patty, the younger sister, is quiet
and unassuming. She watches her lively sister grow up and their close relationship change. She finds out that she has athletic talent and continues to pursue her skills into adulthood. The story follows the years before the murders and what happens when Rachel tries to solve the murders and help her father. Told from the perspective of an adult Rachel, we are left to run through the slow unraveling tale to put the clues together and find out what happened. Part thriller and part coming-of-age story, I found it very interesting. It kept my interest and I will definitely by reading more by this author in the future. A definite thumbs up!