Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Watching Jimmy by Nancy Hartry


I love Carolyn, the main character of Watching Jimmy. She feels a lot of regret about what happened to her best friend Jimmy. She thinks she should have yelled at her Aunt Jean not to leave them alone with her brother, Uncle Ted, or that she could have run faster when Uncle Ted went zooming off down the street with Jimmy sprawled out across the trunk of his fancy car, or maybe if she had screamed, someone would have come and stopped the awful thing that happened next. The worst thing is that Uncle Ted told everyone Jimmy fell off a swing at the park and that he tried to wake him up and then carried him to his car to get help. Carolyn knows it won’t do any good to tell, so she tries to protect Jimmy as best she can after he comes home from the hospital. She never leaves him alone with Uncle Ted, and she coerces Uncle Ted into helping Aunt Jean by threatening him in a way that only he will understand. Carolyn has her own troubles, but she knows they’re nothing compared to Aunt Jean’s: Ted claims ownership of her house and says she’ll have to move out; Jimmy could have surgery to help with his brain injury but there’s no money to pay for it; and she has the great sadness of having lost her older son in the war. Carolyn has a couple of talents. She has a beautiful singing voice (but she’s careful not to let anyone hear her), and she’s a moving public speaker (which she’s not shy about showing off at all). This is a story where good triumphs in the end, even though things can never go back to the way they used to be. Warning:  there is some language that might be considered offensive.  Review by Stacy Church

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