I just finished Apples Never Fall by Lianne Moriarty, and it brings up a lot of questions I’ve been wondering about point of view. The book flips back and forth from present to past: a woman is missing and we see her four children talking about it, and then we move to several months ago when the woman was home with her husband, taking in a young woman who needed help.
The present-day story is told about half by her children and half by satellite people: the woman giving a pedicure, a waitress, a hairdresser, a young man in love with her daughter, her son’s ex-wife. This was a definite choice she made, only giving us what these folks overhear, and how they view the family dynamic, not showing us what each sibling is thinking.
She throws about two twists in, the last one being very satisfying. She weaves in little nuggets about the family’s day to day life, makes it feel like set dressing, but then later you realize almost everything has a point in solving this woman’s disappearance, if you’d just paid attention. There’s a throwaway comment about the dog that was brought back. Pretty tight plotting!
Now I’m reading The Supervillain’s Guide to Being a Fat Kid by my buddy Matt Wallace. It’s a middle grade book about a bullied fat kid writing to a supervillain in jail for advice. Matt has such a strong and sympathetic voice. I’m so happy he got a chance to write this, AND that I get to blurb it.