Saturday, May 02, 2009

Book Review: Right Behind You by Gail Giles

Book: Right Behind You
Author: Gail Giles
Published: 2007

Once upon a time, there were two little boys. One was named Kip, and the other was named Bobby. One day, Kip got angry at Bobby. So he set him on fire, and Bobby died.

This story has been part of Kip McFarland’s life ever since he was nine years old. He’s spent four years in a mental institution for juvenile violent criminals. Now he’s emerging, with a new name, a new home, and hopefully a new life. But the crime he committed is still buried deep inside. Bobby may have died, but Kip lived. And Wade has to keep on living, knowing what he did, every single day.

Talk about a hook. The booktalk for this one just writes itself. How many of us have contemplated hideous murders on the news and wondered how a human being could do that, and, more, how they could live with themselves after? The idea of sociopathy is a comforting one--they look human, but they didn’t come equipped with a conscience. We could never do that because we’re real people.

In Right Behind You, Giles chooses to tell the wrenching tale of someone who made a terrible mistake and will never stop paying for it. But beyond that, this novel asks the questions: what is forgiveness? What is redemption? Is either possible when you’ve taken another’s life, even if by accident?

This is not a light read, and not for somebody who likes their heroes flawless. But it's most definitely worth reading.


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see this book getting some love, even (especially?) after it's been out for a while. This one hit me hard because while we may not have all murdered someone, many people have something in their past they wish they could "do over" and have to find a way to get past.

Kelly said...

Wow, that sounds intense. But sometimes the best books are. I'm adding it to my list, thanks!

Patti said...

I'm glad its getting some love too. This was a really really good book.