“Nothing ever happens in a sleepy town like Middlebrook. Until the residents are shaken to their core, when one hot Saturday afternoon, at a back-to-school party, nine children sneak into a barn…and only eight come out unharmed.
The press immediately starts asking questions. What type of parents let their children play unsupervised in a house with guns? What kind of child pulls the trigger on their friend? And most importantly: of the nine children who were present in that barn, which one actually pulled the trigger, and why are the others staying silent?”
Just reading the synopsis of this book had me hooked. In today’s polarizing views on gun control, this was one I wanted to read.
Six families living in a small neighborhood. Eva and her husband and daughter recently moved here from England. Eva is hoping with school almost ready to start up, that her daughter, Lily, will make friends.
She encourages one of the other families to host a party so the kids can get to know each other. Kaitlin Wright and her husband aren’t thrilled with the idea. Their son is introverted and prefers being alone. He had a good friend, but no more.
We have a family with twins, from Pakistan, whose father is building a mosque in town. We have the single mom and former attorney whose daughter is a mystery to everyone. We have the off the grid single father who is raising three kids alone and the Rev. Avery, who is fostering two kids.
Priscilla, the mother of Astrid has forbidden her daughter to go to the party, but we all know kids. Especially in a small town where they all know each other. She’s going to go.
While the parents socialize, the kids are in the barn with the dog and horses. Until there is a scream and a gunshot. And not everyone is coming out of there on their own two feet.
But where is the gun? And so begins the battle among the families and the press. There were a lot of extremes in this tale. NO GUNS EVER! GUNS ARE FINE. Everyone has an agenda and the children aren’t talking at all.
I enjoyed the story. Although all the parents pretty much seemed the same. The children were great little characters and acted more like adults than the adults did.
NetGalley/ September 7th, 2021 by Crooked Lane Books