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"In Good Graces the mix of light and dark is rendered with honesty, wit and savvy."
“A beautifully woven story…You will weep for and cheer on the O’Malley sisters…[and] immediately miss them once the last page is turned.” — Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of These Things Hidden
“Moving, funny, and full of unexpected delights, this is one sequel that just might be even better than the original gem. Kagen crafts a gorgeous page turner about love, loss and loyalty, all told in the sparkling voices of two extraordinary sisters.” — Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You
“For all the praise garnered for Whistling in the Dark, Good Graces more than lives up to its predecessor.” — School Library Journal
“Spend happy hours following the O’Malley sisters through the sweltering summer of 1960 on Milwaukee’s West Side. This humorous, passionate novel of childhood is full of evocative local detail and the lives of wild, smart children.” — Milwaukee Magazine
Whistling in the Dark captivated readers with the story of ten-year-old Sally O'Malley and her sister, Troo, during Milwaukee's summer of 1959. In Good Graces, it's one year later, and a heat wave has everyone in the close-knit Milwaukee neighborhood on edge. None more so than Sally O'Malley, who remains deeply traumatized by the sudden death of her daddy and her near escape from a murderer and molester the previous summer. Although outwardly she and her sister, Troo, are more secure, Sally's confidence in her own judgment and much of her faith have been whittled away. When a series of disquieting events unfold in the neighborhood—a string of home burglaries, the escape from reform school of a nemesis, and the mysterious disappearance of an orphan, crimes that may involve the increasingly rebellious Troo—Sally is called upon to rise above her inner demons. She made a deathbed promise to her daddy to keep Troo safe, a promise she can't break, even if her life depends on it. But when events reach a crisis point, will Sally have the courage and discernment to make the right choices? Or will her false assumptions lead her and those she loves into danger once again?
ABOUT LESLEY KAGEN
Lesley Kagen is an actress, voice-over talent, and restaurateur, as well as the author of two previous national bestselling novels. Whistling in the Dark has been translated into five languages and was a Midwest Choice Honor winner. Land of a Hundred Wonders, an Indie Next pick, was also nominated for a Midwest Choice Award. She lives near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Posted August 14, 2011
Lesley Kagen writes books that make you feel good. She is a masterful storyteller with an eye for period detail and the ability to get into the mind of a very imaginative little girl. We first met the O.Malley girls in Whistling in the Dark and are now lucky enough to revisit their blue collar Milwaukee 1960s neighborhood in Good Graces. While this book is a sequel, it can be read as a stand alone. (But why would you deny yourself the full pleasure of reading both?) As is the norm, the children run in a sub-orbit to the adults in this book. The kids have their own fully developed world and they also have the puzzling world of adults to contend with. Sally uses her fertile imagination to help her try to make sense of the adult world which leads to some pretty funny explanations. This book has some really good laugh out loud passages that are gentle humor and not the harsh and mean type of humor often found in today's comedy. This is a very good book and I recommend it without reservation.
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Posted October 9, 2011
Good Graces offers a unique experience in reading...You can easily crawl into Sally and Troo's shoes through Kagen's gift of writing dialogue! However, at the same time, you are walking down your own personal memory lane. The 50's and 60's sparks to life with the oodles and oodles of references to life back then. As a result, you are literally reading 2 stories...Kagen's and your own!
Mary Lane, the second(:
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Posted June 12, 2012
I won this book from First Reads but I already had read books by Lesley Kagen and liked them so I did not mind reading Good Graces. This is a sequel to an earlier book "Whistling in the Dark" but you are not lost if you don't read the first. This book takes place in 1960 and is about 2 sisters (Irish twins)growing up after the loss of their Daddy. On his death bed, Daddy asked the eldest, Sally to "take care of Troo (Trooper) and keep her safe". What a responsiblity to put on an 11 year old. Trooper a.k.a. Margaret is a handful for anyone. Reading this book is like reliving your childhood all over again with fun, fears,friends and others during one summer.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 4, 2012
Kagen takes us back to Milwaukee in this sequel to the National Bestseller Whistling In the Dark. One year has passed and Sally is still trying to deal with her escape from a child molester and murderer and the loss of her father. She promised her dad she would take care of her rebel sister Troo and keep her safe. Troo is not making the promise very easy to keep as she gets in trouble at school and sneaks out of their bedroom in the middle of the night.
The neighborhood is having a crime wave with several burglaries. Then an orphan boy goes missing and Troo's arch enemy has escaped from reform school. Is Troo involved in these incidents? Is she going to hunt down the boy that escaped and try to get revenge? Is she the "cat burgler"? Sally will do anything to save her sister even if it means putting herself in danger.
Life through the eyes of a child. Lesley Kagen is a master at writing from these young viewpoints.
Funny from having to write the charitable story over the summer to turn in on the first day of school to Troo pretending she is French and wanting to be called "Leeze", visits to the Latour house where they have so many kids an extra one or two is never noticed and the muu-muu wearing granny who looks like George Washington. The childhood games and songs, the old sayings we all heard time and time again going up like "when it rains it pours and "an idle mind is the devil's workshop".
Sad as the zoo moves across town, dealing with the changes that have come about since their fathers death.
Mysterious as we learn there is something going on at the church.
Kagen takes us on a time back in time. I would love to be sitting with Ethel on the porch or go to all the happenings at the park.
This is a completely charming novel just like Whistling In the Dark. Wonderfully drawn characters with engaging stories that all blend together with perfect precision. I think this one is even better than its predecessor! Escape to Milwaukee 1960 this summer, you will be glad you made the trip!!
Posted April 1, 2012
The best sequel I've ever read! If you love a well-written book with a lot of heart, Good Graces is for you. A fantastic book club read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 13, 2011
Posted October 18, 2011
This is a great follow-up to Whistling In The Dark by Kagen, which is wonderful also. This author has a true way of showing and telling great characters and a good story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 13, 2011
Posted October 12, 2011
A friend introduced me to Lesley Kagan. I read Whistling in the Dark and then picked up Tomorrow River. I preordered Good Graces and received it the week it was published. I think Lesley Kagen is a real treasure. Love her writing and her children. I hope she keeps writing for a long long time. Lonnie, MinneapolisWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 9, 2011
Lesley Kagen's descriptions in Good Graces are amazing! You will feel as though you are in the Milwaukee neighborhood with Troo and Sally O'Malley. When I was a little girl we always went to see Sampson the gorilla at the Milwaukee Zoo. When Lesley wrote about the girls' visits with Sampson I felt the excitement I used to feel so many years ago when I would go to see him! This is a "keep reading-can't put it down" book! Don't stop with Good Graces. Read Lesley Kagen's other books: Whistling in the Dark (read 1st if you can), Land of a Hundred Wonders, and Tomorrow River.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 21, 2011
I loved Whistling in the Dark and waitied with anticipation for the release of Good Graces. I find myself dissapointed in this sequel. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it but didn't love it either. I felt that the relationship between Sally and Troo was very drawn out and repetitive. The ending was so unrealistic and odd to me. I still love the characters and feel like they would have been my friends growing up. Well, Sally at least. However, as an adult, Troo's spunkiness sure makes me laugh!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 18, 2011
I didn't want this book to end. I wanted to stay in Milwaukee with Sally and Troo back in 1960. I found myself reading slowly, only allowing myself a few pages at a time (like a special treat). I hope I can go back to 1961 with book three.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 7, 2011
I received Good Graces on 9/1 and finished it on 9/2....I could not put it down. Lesley Kagen's descriptions of 1960, the O'Malley sisters and their neighborhood make me want to go back to that time period! Lesley is a master story teller and just keeps getting better. I can't wait for the next book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 6, 2011
It was hard to put down Good Graces. Having been raised on the West Side of Milwaukee, Troo and Sally's adventures are the stuff that my sister and I longed for when we were growing up. Sally's wit and young intelligence, combined with her devotion to her younger sister Troo.....or should I say her promise to her late father to keep Troo safe and sound.....makes for another summer of fun, fear and imaginative follies. Good Graces delivers on all fronts...humor, adventure, great neighborhood characters, and left me hoping that Lesley Kagen has a third summer sharing tales of the O'Malley sisters in a future novel.....Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 2, 2011
I had so much fun reading this novel that I never wanted to put it down, and never did. The pacing pulled me along (one more chapter-then I'll eat. Another, then I'll go to bed.) Even if you didn't read Whistling In The Dark (but you should because it's great), Good Graces will pull you into the world of the intrepid O'Malley sisters in 1959 Milwaukee. The themes in the story are delicious and Kagen pokes at the ugly truths everyone conveniently hid back then. The O'Malley girls have spirit, loyalty, self-assurance, daring, and a completely engaging view of the world. These characters will stay with me for a long time. Kagen has a genius for presenting the world through Sally O'Malley's watchful eyes, past color and handicaps. And did I mention the twists? Great twists!! Don't even think twice before you read this wonderful novel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 1, 2011
Reminisce with Sally & Troo O'Malley. We're back in Milwaukee, summertime, 1960s. Back to the Zoo & Samson the gorilla...back to Summer Play Ground...back to the friends you made in "Whistling in the Dark"...back to the "good old days". The reader quickly becomes engrossed in the plot, almost becoming a part of the story. I love Sally's straight forward & childlike narration. I chuckled, remembering the language of the day. Refreshing, uplifting, I enjoyed every minute. And, be sure to read all the way to the end! You will become a Lesley Kagen fan too..... I give "Good Graces" 6 stars ******Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 6, 2011
Bravo,Bravo!!!!Lesley Kagen has done it again!! She has brought our two little sweethearts back to the pages of our imagination!! While reading this book you can't help but feel you are sitting right next to Sally experienceing the same emotions. This book is flawless and has left me wanting more. What kind of twisting and turning adventures would come of the O'Malley sisters next summer! This book is a must read!!! Thank you Lesley for your gift of writing!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 3, 2011
Lesley Kagen continues the story of Sally O'Malley and her sister Troo, from her bestselling novel Whistling in the Dark. However, to simply call this a sequel, while the transition is seamless, does not do this book justice. Good Graces has its own story to tell.
It is one year later in 1960 Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A year in the life of the O'Malley sisters has seen many changes. While home life is more secure, both girls are still grieving the sudden loss of their father a year ago. Ever the good girl, Sally is determined to keep her deathbed promise to take care of Troo. Troo is not making it easy, becoming increasingly rebellious. Troo constantly pushes the limits and crosses lines. Her need for attention and love of drama drives her.
Summer has brought a heat wave, making everyone restless. As the summer heats up, so does the danger. The disappearance of a local boy and the escape of Troo's nemesis from reform school are problem enough for Sally. Making matters worse, a series of home burglaries in the neighbourhood seem to possibly be connected to Troo. Exhausted and overwhelmed, Sally is unsure of her own judgment regarding both people and situations. Eventually things come to a boiling point and Sally is forced to find the courage to make decisions that surprise even her.
Lesley Kagen is an extraordinary author. She captures the essence of adolescence, with its conflict of innocence and awareness. She has a gift of giving authentic voice to her child characters. Her books are humorous yet sensitive and sweet, leaving you wanting more.
Posted March 31, 2011
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I have to say that the wait for Good Graces was definitely worth it. I was able to read a galley of the book and was blown away at how good it was. I absolutely loved Whistling in the Dark and was anxiously awaiting the sequel. When reading Whistling in the Dark I felt like I was transported in time and that I became part of the O'Malley sisters lives. To be able to revisit these girls again in Good Graces was a gift that Kagen delivered with a giant bow. This is by far one of the greatest sequels ever written. I read nearly 100 books a year and there are very few books that resonate with me long after I read them. In that way, this book is a rare gem. The dialogue is spot on, being both serious and funny in perfect unison. You find yourself lost in the book due to the beautifully woven and intricate plot. You crave more and are not disappointed. Good Graces is the type of story that can only be written by an author that is authentic and truly gifted. Kagen has proven again that she deserves to be on the National Best Sellers List. This is a book that cannot be missed. It is everything that I hoped it would be and more. I look forward to seeing what else Kagen can dream up. She is truly one of the best authors out there. Preorder this book now, you will not be disappointed. If you have not read Whistling in the Dark make sure to get it and read it while you wait for Good Graces!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 15, 2011
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