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The Next Time You See Me

por Holly Goddard Jones

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3003087,840 (3.49)15
Fiction. Literature. HTML:

A debut novel by award-winning author Holly Goddard Jones, about the people surprisingly connected to the discovery of a dead woman's body in a small town

Thirteen-year-old Emily Houchens doesn't have many friends. She finds more comfort playing make-believe in the woods near her house in Roma, Kentucky, than with her classmates, who find her strange and awkward. When she happens upon a dead body hidden in the woods one day, she decides not to tell anyone about her discovery??a choice that begins to haunt her.

Susanna Mitchell has always been a good girl, the dutiful daughter and wife. While her older sister Ronnie trolled bars for men and often drove home at sunrise, Susanna kept a neat house, a respectable job, and a young daughter. But when Ronnie goes missing and Susanna realizes that she's the only person in Roma who truly cares about her sister's fate, she starts to question her quiet life and its value.

The Next Time You See Me is the story of how one woman's disappearance exposes the ambitions, prejudices, and anxieties of a small southern town and its residents, who are all connected, sometimes in unexpected ways: Emily; Susanna; Tony, a failed baseball star turned detective, aspiring to be the county's first black sheriff; and Wyatt, a fifty-five-year-old factory worker tormented by a past he can't change and by a love he doesn't think he deserves. Their stories converge in a violent climax that reveals not just the mystery of what happened to Ronnie but all of their secret selves.… (mais)

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The first adjective that comes to mind regarding The Next Time You See Me is thoughtful: Holly Goddard Jones has put so much thought into the characters that populate her small Kentucky town. I want to say that they defy steretypes, but that's not exactly it. They seem, on the surface, very stereotypical: the unfulfilled teacher in her unhappy marriage; her black-sheep sister, who drinks, sleeps around, and goes missing, setting the plot in motion; the black athlete turned detective; the golden new boy in town, dating the queen bee; the socially awkward teen pariah; the overweight nurse with a heart of gold. All of these are characters we know -- or think we do.

But Jones makes all of them so human, so nuanced, and leads them to intersect in such unpredictable ways, that we want to know them as individuals, not cliches. We follow their slow, deliberate dance, waiting for the next fresh pairing, because we care where they end up. In this way Jones revives the rather tired missing-person plot, prompting us to see it anew. What happens when the body is found by the teen pariah -- and she doesn't run screaming to her parents? What happens when the killer turns out to be someone with whom we truly sympathize?

Jones reminds us how complex people really are. Over and over, she asks us not to judge a book by its cover, but to see the world through others' eyes. The Next Time You See Me combines murder mystery with the dramatic, character-driven complexity of Julia Glass's The Whole World Over. It's a thoughtful thriller. ( )
  stephkaye | Dec 14, 2020 |
Great writing - even knowing that the subject is dead and quickly learning who killed her, you can't stop turning the pages of this book to find how how and why AND even more importantly - about all the characters surrounding her. ( )
  viviennestrauss | Oct 17, 2019 |
I thought this was a well-written character study of how a senseless crime affects several different people living in a small town in Kentucky. While the characters were well-developed and the story rang true, the overall mood was quite bleak and hopeless, and this knocked off a star for me. It's not that I require the books I read to be happy but that I need to feel like the terrible events that happen at least can effect some positive change in the characters' lives, and I didn't get that sense here. ( )
  sturlington | Jun 20, 2019 |
Set in the small town of Roma, Kentucky, this novel is told through the viewpoints of four separate characters. Emily is a socially awkward eighth grader, harboring a secret crush, who discovers a body in the woods. Susanna is a middle school teacher, unsatisfied wife and harried mother. Her wild sister Ronnie is missing and no one will take her concerns seriously. Tony is the detective who is back in his hometown after an injury that destroyed his baseball career. Wyatt is a 55-year old factory worker who is tormented and bullied by his co-workers and whose only friend is his dog, Boss.

I really enjoyed the complex characters and the way the author captured the small town southern feel. The four characters slowly unwrap their stories along with the miseries of their lives in a way that totally drew me in to the story. I thought it was a terrific character driven mystery in a setting that is perfectly captured in an authentic way. If you are looking for a standard murder mystery this is not the book for you. If you are searching for a compelling story with characters who are realistically portrayed this may be just what you're looking for. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Aug 9, 2017 |
A strangely un-put-downable book that i suspect will not stay with me for long. Told from different perspectives but in the third person, so the lack of "voice" didn't bother me as much as it maybe should have. Bravely sad, actually. ( )
  jjaylynny | Nov 12, 2016 |
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Holly Goddard Jonesautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Campbell, CassandraNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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For my mother, Ruth; in memory of her mother, Evelyn Elizabeth Ezell, 1917-2011  redbird
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Emily Houchens watched as Christopher Shelton, who sat in a desk two rows up and one over from her own, leaned back and smoothly slid his notebook over his shoulder, so that the boy sitting behind him could read what was written there.
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Fiction. Literature. HTML:

A debut novel by award-winning author Holly Goddard Jones, about the people surprisingly connected to the discovery of a dead woman's body in a small town

Thirteen-year-old Emily Houchens doesn't have many friends. She finds more comfort playing make-believe in the woods near her house in Roma, Kentucky, than with her classmates, who find her strange and awkward. When she happens upon a dead body hidden in the woods one day, she decides not to tell anyone about her discovery??a choice that begins to haunt her.

Susanna Mitchell has always been a good girl, the dutiful daughter and wife. While her older sister Ronnie trolled bars for men and often drove home at sunrise, Susanna kept a neat house, a respectable job, and a young daughter. But when Ronnie goes missing and Susanna realizes that she's the only person in Roma who truly cares about her sister's fate, she starts to question her quiet life and its value.

The Next Time You See Me is the story of how one woman's disappearance exposes the ambitions, prejudices, and anxieties of a small southern town and its residents, who are all connected, sometimes in unexpected ways: Emily; Susanna; Tony, a failed baseball star turned detective, aspiring to be the county's first black sheriff; and Wyatt, a fifty-five-year-old factory worker tormented by a past he can't change and by a love he doesn't think he deserves. Their stories converge in a violent climax that reveals not just the mystery of what happened to Ronnie but all of their secret selves.

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