This novel begins in the autumn of what is undoubtedly an exceptionally tumultuous year for the novel’s two narrators, fourteen-year-old Jenna and her younger brother, Jeremy. The book immediately draws the reader into the perspective of Jeremy, who has just been called out of his elementary school art class by a school administrator, only to discover that, as the title suggests, his father has killed his mother. Although both Jenna and Jeremy knew, to varying degrees, that their parents’ marriage was slowly fracturing, the stark reality that their mother has been shot requires quite a while for the two children to accept. The first part of the book deals with the two narrators’ respective and collective coming to terms with this horrific new reality.
By: Julius Lester