The Kindness of Strangers

The Kindness of Strangers

Book - 2005
Average Rating:
5
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On a quiet street in the suburban Midwest, a popular, seemingly stable family keeps a terrible, dark secret behind closed doors -- a secret that will have life-changing consequences for all who know them

Sarah Laden, a young widow and mother of two, struggles to keep her family together. Since the death of her husband, her high-school-age son, Nate, has developed a rebellious streak, constantly falling in and out of trouble. Her kindhearted younger son, Danny, though well behaved, struggles to pass his remedial classes. All the while, Sarah must make ends meet by running a catering business out of her home. But when a shocking and unbelievable revelation rips apart the family of her closest friend, Sarah finds herself welcoming yet another young boy into her already tumultuous life.

Jordan, a quiet and reclusive elementary-school boy and classmate of Danny's, has survived a terrible tragedy, leaving him without a family. When Sarah becomes Jordan's foster mother, a relationship develops that will force her to question the things of which she thought she was so sure. Yet Sarah is not the only one changed by this young boy, and as the delicate balance that holds her family together begins to falter, the Ladens will all face truths about themselves and one another -- and discover the power of love to forgive and to heal.

Powerful and poignant, The Kindness of Strangers is a shocking look at how the tragedy of a single family in a small suburban town can affect so many. Katrina Kittle has created a haunting vision of the secret lives of the people we think we know best. Through gripping and heartrending storytelling, The Kindness of Strangers shows that even after the most grave injuries, redemption is always possible.

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060564742
0060564741
9780060564780
Characteristics: 393 p. ; 24 cm

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ohiostatefan
Sep 30, 2013

An engrossing page-turner!

Sarah Laden is barely holding her life together as a widow with two difficult sons—recalcitrant teen Nate and troubled fifth-grader Danny—when best friend and neighbor, Courtney Kendrick, is arrested in a child sex abuse scandal. It was hard to pick up, but harder still to put down.

p
pktab
May 20, 2013

This book grabs you on the first page and is a compelling read to the very end. Disturbing and timely content. Highly recommend!

s
sasie
Feb 01, 2013

Beware that the subject matter for this novel is intense and serious but it is a gripping story and very well told. It took me on an emotional journey that I won't soon forget. Fantastic.

m
mpye
Oct 06, 2009

This is a superb book that I read in a day and half. The reviews in the EPL's record of this book and on the book's cover fall well short of a proper appreciation of Katrina Kittle's storytelling skill.

I believe this book should have won some major awards, the fact it has not (at least not yet) may indicate how far out of touch the reviews and awards are with the interests of genuine readers of fiction.

With child abuse so consistently in the headlines Ms Kittle offers considerable insight into the affect on an individual, their family, friends and a community. At the same time she maintains a consistent suspense throughout the story without resort to the cheap tricks of many authors. For example our expectations are set right from the first page for a happy ending. It's the honesty in relating the struggles, sacrifices, fears and doubts that are Ms Kittle's hallmark. This honesty will have you turning the pages and thirsting for more.

The story is told through the four people most affected, Mum, Nate, Danny and Jordan. Here Ms Kittle is again at her best. She avoids retelling any of the events through different eyes, one storyteller simply picks up where the other leaves off. Also she doesn't rely on one or two storytellers over the others. Each person's contribution is finely balanced, they all have their love, secrets and failures to relate.

Every scene she potrays is relevant to the story, there is not a wasted word.

Overall this book is wonderfully well integrated through the four storytellers. It has a compelling unity and sense of mission that had me reading at all hours.

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