Friday, December 4, 2009

Splintering by Eireann Corrigan

Title: Splintering
Author: Eireann Corrigan
Publisher: PUSH Printing (Scholastic)
Paperback, 184 pages
Date Published: 2004

Description (Taken from Goodreads)
It's about the aftermath. It's about what happens after a stranger breaks into a house and attacks a family. It's about the sisters who must barricade themselves behind a splintering door while tethered on the phone to 911. It's about the father who nearly dies. It's about the son who hides. And everything after. Told in alternating perspectives, this is a powerful, moving story about a family that has its facade shattered by a random act of violence - and must deal with what is discovered underneath.
Splintering is told in series of 1-2 page poems. It's a story about family and the aftermath of what some may describe as a tragedy. The poems alternate from Paulie, the 15 year old daughter/sister, and Jeremy, the high school senior son/brother. The book is a very quick read at 184 pages, but the message is so intense and raw that it cannot be ignored.

I found this book to be tragically moving and rooted so deeply within the psyche of these teens that I was enthralled with it. Corrigan presents the story through poems and it works really well. Paulie and Jeremy get to tell their sides of the story and their feelings are shown in clipped vignettes that somehow get under the reader’s skin. The book hit me really hard and even though I’ve never gone through what these teens go through, I could still easily relate. Fundamentally, it is a story about family and the love [or lack of love in some places] of a family. This isn't for the faint of heart though. There are drugs and there's some sexual content, but it's all realistic. Splintering is hard-hitting for a reason and the drama, conflict, emotional isolation, and pain make it an unforgettable story.

In my opinion, this is a must read.

My two favorite poems were “The Love Story” and “The Greenhouse Conspiracy.”


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