Monday, January 7, 2013

They Never Came Home

The Never Came Home by Lois Duncan, November, 1990 (originally published in 1969). 183 pages. Published by  Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers. Source: own.
Is it better to assume they're dead-or hope they're alive?
Joan's boyfriend and her brother are missing. Everyone assumes they're dead. Until the voice on the other end of the phone hints at terrible crimes. Could Joan's brother have been involved? Could he still be alive? 
First Sentence:
The boys had been gone for three days before the police were informed, and then Mr. Drayfus was apologetic.
I felt so lucky when I found a Lois Duncan book that I had never read and did not own. Almost excited enough for a little happy dance in store...almost.

Before y'all runaway from They Never Came Home because it was published a couple decades ago, I want y'all to hear why I thought it was such a great read and then maybe try it for yourself. Why? Because Lois Duncan is one of the best authors I have ever read!

What made this such an interesting read is that you know more than Joan, the main character, does. While she's left to deal her mother's nervous breakdown after hope of finding the boys alive is dashed and with her brother's business debt made this one book that was hard to put down. I really enjoyed the way Lois Duncan was able to a typical accident and spin a suspenseful mystery out of it. She is truly a master when it comes to taking an everyday story and making it unforgettable.

While I may have put two and two together when it came the mysterious business concerning a certain phone call Joan received about her brother, I still could not believe that I was right when it finally came out in the end. It was just a little shocking to me since it was a young adult book from the late sixties and that he was dealing in that just kind of boggled the mind.

What I enjoyed most while reading They Never Came Home was that the writing was excellent, as I've come to expect from a Lois Duncan book, and that the story in itself was thrilling. I loved that as you read the first few chapters you got to see how much the loss of the two boys affected their families and community. The way Dan and Larry's disappearance affected the everyone made for interesting reading because you got to see what everyone thought about them, and even got to see the different perspectives on what both families thought of the other family's son.

Okay, while I really enjoyed reading Lois Duncan's They Never Came Home I admit that what I did not like was that you could tell, sometimes more than others, that it was written in the late sixties. While some of the lingo was definitely kind of funny, it was odd to be reading a book were you could tell that it was written quite some time ago. So, while the time period may have been a little hard to get used to I really enjoyed the writing and plot of this one.

Final Verdict: They Never Came Home complex and rich in both the writing and plot.

They Never Came Home earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.


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