Saturday, January 31, 2009

15/81 - The Spellman Files

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz, from Library Thing/Good Reads category

In the Spellman family, it's perfectly normal to be suspicious of everyone. Privacy is nonexistent. Trust no one.

Unsurprisingly, this attitude has profound consequences for the relationships in the family. David is a perfect child, and as a very smart guy takes the first chance he can to get out of the house. Izzy is the wild child, but her rebellion stops short of actually moving away. And Rae grows up thinking everything is a matter for negotiation and expects to be paid for taking a shower.

The reason the family is so messed up is that they are all private investigators. After years of following suspects, digging through their trash, taking surveillance photos, and illegal wiretapping, they have no idea how to have a normal family.

I enjoyed this book. Izzy is a crazy character, but I found myself sympathizing with her. I thought it was funny the way she had case files on her ex-boyfriends. I loved Rae. But I really couldn't understand the parents. They treated their children as suspects. That's just wrong.

When I first heard of this book, I had the impression that it was a teen book. It's not. It's not that it's inappropriate for teens, really. There is drug and alcohol abuse and references to casual sex and the language is a little rough. But that's found in many teen books. It's just that it's written from Izzy's point of view as a 28 year old adult.

I enjoyed this book. It wasn't exactly deep, but it kept me up late last night, waiting to see what happened. I am extremely glad that my family is nothing like the Spellmans.

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