Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.
March 5, 2021
Looking Back - Evening News
2000 Back Bay Books (first published in 1999)
Read in March 2000
Rating: 3/5 (Good)
Nine year-old Teddy is playing next door with his best friend when Eric pulls out his father's handgun and hands it to Teddy. The telephone rings; the gun goes off, shooting -- and killing -- Teddy's two-year-old half sister Trina, who was playing in a wading pool in the yard outside, with Giselle, their mother, by her side.
Thus begins Marly Swick's second novel after the highly acclaimed Paper Wings. As with her previous work, Swick resolutely travels the domestic landscape, detailing delicately and truthfully the effect of Trina's death on the unstable triangle of the family left behind. Each member finds their bonds of love and loyalty tested, and each is resilient in the face of their loss, but for different -- perhaps too different -- reasons: Giselle must get Teddy through the crisis, but Dan, his stepfather, having just lost his daughter, has no such responsibility.
Told alternately from the point of view of Giselle and Teddy himself, Evening News is a beautifully accomplished novel about resilience in the face of loss -- and about the irrevocable damage that both the loss and the resilience can inflict.
My Original Thoughts (2000):
Quick-paced novel. Sad topic, however. The story is set in Los Angeles, but moves to Lincoln, Nebraska midway through. Swick is a Lincolnite and teaches at UNL. Lots of references to real locations in Nebraska, as well as L.A.
My Current Thoughts:
I always enjoy reading books set in familiar locations and this one was no exception. I remember the heaviness of the novel and don't care to read it again.