Closed Doors {Book Review and #Giveaway}

by Jennifer Donovan

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Closed Doors

Things aren’t so great in 11-year-old Michael Murray’s life at the moment. His dad has been out of work for a while, which makes things strained between him and his mom. And then one night, Michael’s mom comes home upset and bloody. Michael listens behind a closed door but can’t quite figure out what’s going on. Finally his dad and grandma tell him that she ran into a flasher in the woods. But is that all it really was?  Michael is determined to find out, so he keeps listening at Closed Doors

I listen at doors now. It’s the only way to find out stuff. No one tells me anything (page 19).

The entire story is told from Michael’s point of view, which is an interesting device at times and slightly repetitious at others. It really takes one back to the thinking and actions of 11-year-olds. That said, if you think that it makes it a clean novel, you’d be wrong. There is plenty of cursing, which is not too far off the mark for boys from  working-class families in a small Irish town.

In addition to trying to figure out what really happened — and if there’s anything he can do — he’s busy with neighborhood friends Fat Ralph and Paul, trying to impress his crush Marianne and stay away from his enemy Dirty Alice. He’s practicing keepy uppies with his soccer ball in hopes of blowing the other kids out of the water at the neighborhood talent show.

What I liked most about this was the look at a family from the eyes of a child. He’s old enough to make assumptions, to be able to express his fears and worries and observations, but throughout — even in the midst of real trouble — he’s self-centered in an age-appropriate way.

Kids are mostly not allowed to know anything about grown-up stuff. Marianne’s ma an da are probably fighting about it every night but Marianne will be asleep or pretending it’s just a normal fight (page 62).

This book shows us the life of a family, the life of a town, and in particular the life of one boy.

Find out more at the TLC Blog Tour page for Lisa O’Donnell and follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

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Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angela Saver June 9, 2014 at 12:43 am

I have listened to audiobooks with my kids in the car before & they enjoyed it.


2 anne June 9, 2014 at 10:42 am

I listen to audiobooks in the car when I drive around town and out of town.


3 Birdiebee June 10, 2014 at 2:34 am

I would love to have this to read this summer. I have not read a book for about 2 years now.


4 Karen June 10, 2014 at 9:11 am

I have a 10 year old and a 12 year old, I think it would be pretty interesting to read a book that’s written from the perspective of an 11 year old!


5 Jeanna June 10, 2014 at 9:17 am

This sounds like an interesting read & i’m always looking for a good book!


6 Liza Vladyka June 10, 2014 at 7:24 pm

sounds like a good read


7 Linda Kish June 10, 2014 at 10:06 pm

This sounds really interesting. I haven’t read anything from an 11 y/o’s point of view before.


8 Samantha Wagner June 10, 2014 at 10:31 pm

This would be an interesting read.


9 Anita Yancey June 11, 2014 at 5:36 pm

It has been a long time since I have read a book from a child’s point of view. It would make for interesting reading. Thanks for having the giveaway.


10 Heather J June 15, 2014 at 12:51 am

Thanks for being a part of the tour!


11 Suzy June 15, 2014 at 1:09 am

I loved Lisa O’Donnell’s first book, The Death of Bees. It was one of my favorites in 2013. I really want to read Closed Doors.


12 Suzy June 15, 2014 at 1:17 am

I loved Lisa O’Donnell’s first book, The a Death of Bees. It was one of my favorites in 2013. I really want to read Closed Doors.


13 Beth C June 16, 2014 at 8:05 pm

I need some summer reading material! Sounds good!


14 Benita June 17, 2014 at 11:14 am

I’d love to read this book told by one boy’s perspective.


15 Daniel M June 17, 2014 at 8:27 pm

sounds like an interesting read


16 amanda whiltey June 19, 2014 at 2:23 pm

this sounds like something i wouldn’t put down once i start.


17 amanda hardesty June 20, 2014 at 3:23 am

This sounds like a catchy story that my son would love


18 Theresa N June 20, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Sounds like a very interesting book.


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