Eye Contact

Eye Contact

4.4 42
by Cammie McGovern
     
 

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Read Cammie McGovern's posts on the Penguin Blog

Like The Lovely Bones and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Cammie McGovern’s breakout novel is at once a hypnotic thriller and an affecting portrait of people as real as our next-door neighbors. In Eye Contact, two children vanish in the woods behind their elementary

Overview

Read Cammie McGovern's posts on the Penguin Blog

Like The Lovely Bones and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Cammie McGovern’s breakout novel is at once a hypnotic thriller and an affecting portrait of people as real as our next-door neighbors. In Eye Contact, two children vanish in the woods behind their elementary school. Hours later, nine-year-old Adam is found alive, the sole witness to his playmate’s murder. But because Adam has autism, he is a silent witness. Only his mother, Cara, can help decode his behavior for the police. As the suspense ratchets, Eye Contact becomes a heart-stopping exploration of the bond between a mother and a very special child.

Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
So detailed and illuminating are McGovern's descriptions of Adam ... that she offers, in essence, a primer on the nature of autism. Eye Contact is compelling by virtue of its spiky and in-transition characters. Psychologically rich and sensationally eventful.
People
An airtight thriller that illuminates the exhausting, isolating realities of parenting special- needs children.
Entertainment Weekly
An enticing drama.
New York Daily News
Deeply moving, actually gripping ... Cammie McGovern ... brings to the page an empathetic understanding of the lock that autism places on a mother's child.
Publishers Weekly
A parent's worst nightmare becomes a crusade for justice in McGovern's dynamite second novel (after 2002's The Art of Seeing), set in an unspecified middle-class suburban community. Shortly after Adam, a nine-year-old boy with autism spectrum disorder, and his friend Amelia, a 10-year-old diagnosed with PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified), disappear during recess from Greenwood elementary school, a traumatized Adam turns up next to Amelia's body in the nearby woods. Cara, Adam's 30-year-old single mom, helps the police unlock the clues in Adam's mind to try to identify Amelia's killer. Cara finds surprising assistance from 13-year-old Morgan, who's determined to solve the crime in order to distract authorities from his own guilty secret-accidentally starting a fire in the wetlands his lawyer/environmentalist mom was trying to protect. Meticulously researched and emotionally absorbing, this provocative page-turner also addresses an important issue-how to educate and care for children with special needs. Film rights optioned by Julia Roberts. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
When nine-year-old Adam is discovered hiding in the woods beside the body of a classmate, the police are very interested in talking to the only witness to the little girl's murder. Adam is autistic, however, and this traumatic event forces him to retreat to his own silent world. As his mother, Cara, tries to answer the many questions about her son's bizarre behavior, she launches her own investigation and discovers that certain secrets from her past have surfaced, causing her to question everything and everyone around her. McGovern (The Art of Seeing) has written an unusual literary mystery that combines the elements of a women's novel with the gripping aspects of a good suspense story. Taut writing and alternating viewpoints work effectively to lead the reader down several dead ends en route to an unpredictable and satisfying conclusion. This page-turner is a rewarding look into the life of a mother who must discover the truth, even if it ends up hurting her-and her son-in the process. Recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/06.]-Kellie Gillespie, City of Mesa Lib., AZ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A ten-year-old girl's murder is witnessed by her autistic schoolmate in this creepy, absorbing literary thriller. McGovern (The Art of Seeing, 2002), herself the mother of an autistic child, builds wrenching drama from her rich premise: Beautiful, unreachable Adam had entered the woods bordering his school with the victim, but cannot communicate what he may have seen or heard. As details accumulate from the subsequent police investigation, we also get gradual disclosures about Adam's single mother, Cara, in particular her past and present attempts to give her son a life while simultaneously protecting him from the pressures and demands of a world he inhabits and comprehends only selectively. Had the author focused more tightly on this poignant mother-son relationship, she might have avoided the diffusion of the story's central mystery among too many other interconnected characters: troubled adolescent boy Morgan, whose willed friendship with Adam promises him much-needed expiation for his own "crime"; Cara's former childhood friend Suzette, sunk in agoraphobia and clinical depression; their common friend Kevin, brain-damaged in a childhood bicycle accident and haunted by unrealized possibilities; and endangered schoolboy Chris, both pathetic victim and calculating, determined avenger. Their stories help make this a genuine page-turner, and McGovern springs numerous plot-worthy surprises. But their narrow suburban world is populated by an excessive number of damaged souls laboring to rebuild their lives; it all reads too much as case study. Nevertheless, the narrative moves like a freight train, and its conclusion will leave no reader unmoved. The unforgettable Adam is both a charmer and,in his distinctively quiet way, a hero. Despite some flaws, a generally successful combination of compassionate domestic realism and pulse-rattling suspense.
From the Publisher
An airtight thriller that illuminates the exhausting, isolating realities of parenting special- needs children. (People)

An enticing drama. (Entertainment Weekly)

Deeply moving, actually gripping . . . Cammie McGovern . . . brings to the page an empathetic understanding of the lock that autism places on a mother's child. (New York Daily News)

Eye Contact is a page-turner. . . . But it's also . . . a nuanced, poignant exploration of how all of us—with or without autism—struggle to find our place in the world. (Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep)

So detailed and illuminating are McGovern's descriptions of Adam . . . that she offers, in essence, a primer on the nature of autism. Eye Contact is compelling by virtue of its spiky and in-transition characters. Psychologically rich and sensationally eventful. (Chicago Tribune)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585477692
Publisher:
Center Point Large Print
Publication date:
07/28/2006
Series:
Center Point Platinum Fiction (Large Print) Series
Edition description:
Large Print Edition
Pages:
367
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are saying about this

Curtis Sittenfeld
Eye Contact is a page-turner.... But it's also ... a nuanced, poignant exploration of how all of us—with or without autism—struggle to find our place in the world. (Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep)
From the Publisher
An airtight thriller that illuminates the exhausting, isolating realities of parenting special- needs children. (People)

An enticing drama. (Entertainment Weekly)

Deeply moving, actually gripping . . . Cammie McGovern . . . brings to the page an empathetic understanding of the lock that autism places on a mother's child. (New York Daily News)

Eye Contact is a page-turner. . . . But it's also . . . a nuanced, poignant exploration of how all of usùwith or without autismùstruggle to find our place in the world. (Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep)

So detailed and illuminating are McGovern's descriptions of Adam . . . that she offers, in essence, a primer on the nature of autism. Eye Contact is compelling by virtue of its spiky and in-transition characters. Psychologically rich and sensationally eventful. (Chicago Tribune)

Meet the Author

Cammie McGovern was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and received the Nelson Algren Award in short fiction. Her work has been published in Redbook, Seventeen, Glimmer Train, TriQuarterly, and other publications. This is her second novel.

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Eye Contact 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
ragingval More than 1 year ago
A friend loaned me this book, and I'm going to have to buy my own copy to keep in my permanent library. I loved it and loathed putting it down. I was a little let down by the ending, because that's not where I would have taken the character, but I can see where the author was coming from. You have GOT to read this. As a special education teacher, it gave me a different insight into Autism, and you have to credit the author for going into her own experiences and understanding. It was an awesome book.
buryuntime More than 1 year ago
You come away learning a lot about autism (if you weren't very familiar with the condition to begin with) and being entertained by the fast-paced plot line that left me guessing until the very end and reading late into the night...

I would definitely recommend, especially to those interested in or wanting to know more about autism, and those who enjoy a good mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so well written and the characters are extremely well developed. I reccomend this amazing story to anyone who has a child on the autism spectrum. I can't wait to read more from this author.
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MrsO More than 1 year ago
I did enjoy the book and read it in one day. But because the story kept jumping back and forth in time, I had to go back a few chapters more than once and find out just who a character was again and how their relationship was tied in because there was so many names to keep straight, at times it got a little confusing. I did learn so much though about autism, and how frustrating for both the child and the parent trying to communicate must be. The story was pretty far fetched, had some unnecessary plot twists and characters, and I didn't really feel any empathy for any of the characters except for the little girl.
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KaidaLikes2Read More than 1 year ago
The story of Adam, the autistic 9 year-old, and his mom is a touching and encouraging one. A deffinate read, even if you don't normally like murder mysterys. I don't normally, but I couldn't put this book down.
sunroom-reader More than 1 year ago
This book has an intense story line. You can lose yourself in these characters and what they are going through. It does deal with sensitive matter though so if you aren't into those types of books, this book isn't for you.
Sabrina9145 More than 1 year ago
I couldnt put this book down until I was finished. The plot keeps thickening and then explodes at the end in a nice neat firework! I couldn't believe how the author pulled everything together! Lastly I loved how she was able to realistically describe an autistic child and the life you live with one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how the characters in this book are all connected somehow. It is a great mystery that keeps you guessing until the end. I think that the way it talked about autism and it's challenges was realistic and gives a little window into what it is like.
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KikiTX More than 1 year ago
My book club read this for January, and it was really enjoyed by all of us. The book hits on autism with sensitivity and insight from different peoples points of view. This alone kept it quite interesting. The story moved quickly, with a few unforeseen twists and turns, and had a bit of a surprise at the end. I would recommend this highly!!!