They Never Came Back

They Never Came Back (unabr.). 5 CDs. 5:46 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2011. ISBN 978-1-4558-5867-5. $49.97.
Gr 6–10—When Murielle Catherine Lyman was ten, her parents fled the country after embezzling millions from clients, and she was supposed accompany them. But her aunt, who was to take her to the airport, had a change of conscience. The girl was left behind and was absorbed into the foster care system. Now 15 and going by the name of Cathy Ferris, Murielle is recognized by her cousin while attending an accelerated summer language class. Fellow students, parents, and the FBI become involved. Stunned by Cathy's resemblance to Murielle, the authorities hope to use her to capture the elusive Lymans. In the days to follow, the teen must confront her past and make an important decision about her future. Caroline Cooney's satisfyingly suspenseful story (Delacorte, 2010) confronts the issues of identity, family, and choosing what's right over what's expected. Told in Cathy and Murielle's alternating viewpoints, listeners will be enthralled—and the open-ended conclusion will have their imaginations spinning with possible outcomes. Narrator Suzy Jackson does an impeccable job of sustaining the exciting pace of the story. Her portrayal of Cathy/Murielle is believable and overflows with emotional turmoil in all the right places. The voicing for the male characters is less convincing, however, and at times sounds forced. Overall, a superb choice for YA collections.—Alissa LeMerise, Oxford Public Library, MI

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