7.09.2010

The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins

The Outside BoyThe Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a coming-of-age story about a young, 10-year-old boy, Christopher (Christy for short), who is an Irish traveller or Pavee Gypsy, during the 1950s. Christy has grown up without a mother, and deals with the grief and guilt of thinking he killed her during childbirth. After his grandfather passes away, he finds a piece of information about his mother and strives to learn more about her, and about his own past.

The story is told in first person, and in the beginning, it took me a little time to get used to the dialect, but then I got used to the flow, and appreciated how Jeanine portrayed a 10-year-old's perspective. (Also, she posted a helpful glossary/pronunciation guide on her website). She has a wonderful ability to fully describe a scene so that as I was reading, I always had a clear picture in my mind. There are many moments that made me smile, and many other poignant moments that tugged at my heart. It's a very sweet story and I was sorry for it to end. I really wanted to know what happened next! I also learned a little something. I was unfamiliar with the Pavee culture, and I think Jeanine provided great insight into that lifestyle.

Full disclosure: Jeanine Cummins is a friend of mine...we grew up together. It may seem I'm a little biased in my praise, but I'm really not. She's a great writer and storyteller, and I'm very proud of her accomplishments.

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