Splintering

Splintering

4.0 2
by Eireann Corrigan
     
 

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From the remarkable author of YOU REMIND ME OF YOU, a searing novel in poems about a family falling apart. 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

Overview

From the remarkable author of YOU REMIND ME OF YOU, a searing novel in poems about a family falling apart. 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Told in hard-hitting free verse, Corrigan's (You Remind Me of You) sometimes raw, often gripping novel chronicles the aftereffects of a violent assault on a dysfunctional family. The speakers alternate between the younger but tougher sister, 15-year-old Paulie, and the middle brother, Jeremy. Each is haunted by the crime: the family had gone to comfort the eldest daughter, Mimi, briefly separated from her husband, when a knife-wielding intruder broke into Mimi's house. In retrospect, Paulie is swamped by fear following her heroic defense of their mother and Mimi, and Jeremy by shame after his flight to the basement while their father confronted the attacker. Corrigan does not develop the two characters equally. Whereas Jeremy's issues seem a little simplified and his responses a bit static, Paulie's problems are legion (estrangement from friends; a poor choice of boyfriend and first sexual experience; nightmares; the residual effects of an abusive mother). The poems offer insight into sibling relationships, rivalries and misunderstandings, as the brother and sister each rage against the other, struggle at cross-purposes and find ways to reach each other across the parentally imposed silences and secrets. The author does not demonize the parents, however, and in some of the most thought-provoking verses the children muse about evidence of love they had never noticed before. Although this novel captures several kinds of splintering, its climax imparts hope of a solid healing. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, March 2004: A work of fiction, told through poetry, this is a powerful story of a family splintering apart because of an act of violence. A brother and a sister share the narrative in alternating poems. The brother, Jeremy, worries about his younger sister Paulie, and he also worries about pleasing his father by getting into a good college. Paulie, a strong-minded 15-year-old, has been in fights with their mother all her life, with the bruises to prove it, but her life changed utterly when the madman entered the house and attacked them—and it was she who beat him down as her older sister called 911 and the police arrived. Jeremy tries to forgive himself for hiding while his father and his mother and sisters were attacked. The crime appears again and again in their thoughts as they try to pick up their lives in the following months. Paulie has terrible nightmares, and she takes refuge in a love affair with a college student, sneaking out of the house each night to stay with him in his dorm room. Jeremy covers for her absence, but worries that she is smoking dope and having sex with an older guy and generally is on a destructive path. Obscenities are frequent, and absolutely appropriate as the traumatized Paulie and Jeremy try to put words to their confusion and misery. The story ends with the family members realizing they are in trouble and need help, that they haven't recovered from the violence inflicted upon them, and that they won't recover without facing their problems directly and helping one another. For sophisticated adolescents. (An ALA Best Book for YAs.) KLIATT Codes: S*—Exceptional book, recommended for senior highschool students. 2004, Scholastic, Push, 184p., Ages 15 to 18.
—Claire Rosser
Children's Literature
A brother, a sister and their parents go to Baltimore from New Jersey to visit their older sister, who is undergoing a rough spot in her marriage. In the sister's home, a machete wielding maniac breaks in and terrorizes the family. These free verse poems, told in alternating voices, tell the story both in flashback and aftermath. What is the full story about what happened that night? How are Jeremy and Paulie dealing with it now, and for that matter, their parents and sister Mimi? I do wish that the two fonts, which change along with the narrator, were more distinct (it took me a while to even notice they were different, and up until then, I had not been able to discern who was narrating) but once you figure them out, the story pulls you along, with the poems reading tightly and escalating the suspense. 2004, Scholastic, Ages 14 up.
—Jamie Watson
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Still severely traumatized by a terrifying attack on their family while visiting their older sister's home, two teens describe the incident and its aftermath. Through a series of prose poems, Paulie (Paulina) and Jeremy gradually reveal the details of the assault, relating how a crazed drug addict broke into Mimi's apartment and threatened their lives. Many of the poems explore the changing dynamics of the three siblings' relationships with their parents and with one another. The formerly confident, successful Mimi reacts to the assault and to her failed marriage by returning to her parents' home and spending her days lying on the couch; Paulie calls this behavior Mimi's "mutation into an inanimate object." Paulie, 15, struggles with a jumble of confused emotions and secretly spends most nights in her boyfriend's college dorm room. Jeremy, haunted by his cowardice and troubled by his younger sister's relationship, is preoccupied with trying to win the attention of a girl with mysterious scars on her neck. Although the characters' alternating poems are indicated by the use of two different fonts, teens will need to read several pages before the voices and points of view become clear. The narrative is written in stanzas that lack the artfully articulated rhythms usually found in free verse and have instead the feel of prose that has been arbitrarily put into poetic format. The book's structure does not enhance its plot or character development and may discourage readers who might otherwise find the story compelling.-Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Poems in two voices tell this tale of a family involved in a nightmare. Jeremy, the brother, and Paulie, the sister, are in their sister's home with their parents and Mimi when attacked by a drug-crazed man wielding a knife. Mimi had called for the family to come get her upon finding that her new husband was seeing another woman, and the family, already upset, is left traumatized by events. The brother retreats to the basement to hide at his father's bidding, as the father has a heart attack, and the three women run upstairs to barricade themselves into a bedroom where the man's superhuman strength eventually breaks down the door. At first, it's quite difficult to tell who is the author of which poem, despite slightly different typeface. Each teen's writing style is not particularly distinctive, although each does travel a different path to create a new sense of security. A culminating event brings the strands and family together in a satisfying denouement. Effective and affecting. (Fiction. YA)
From the Publisher
Publishers Weekly
(April 19, 2004; 0-439-53597-2)

Told in hard-hitting free verse, Corrigan's (You Remind Me of You) sometimes raw, often gripping novel chronicles the aftereffects of a violent assault on a dysfunctional family. The speakers alternate between the younger but tougher sister, 15-year-old Paulie, and the middle brother, Jeremy. Each is haunted by the crime: the family had gone to comfort the eldest daughter, Mimi, briefly separated from her husband, when a knife-wielding intruder broke into Mimi's house. In retrospect, Paulie is swamped by fear following her heroic defense of their mother and Mimi, and Jeremy by shame after his flight to the basement while their father confronted the attacker. Corrigan does not develop the two characters equally. Whereas Jeremy's issues seem a little simplified and his responses a bit static, Paulie's problems are legion (estrangement from friends; a poor choice of boyfriend and first sexual experience; nightmares; the residual effects of an abusive mother). The poems offer insight into sibling relationships, rivalries and misunderstandings, as the brother and sister each rage against the other, struggle at cross-purposes and find ways to reach each other across the parentally imposed silences and secrets. The author does not demonize the parents, however, and in some of the most thought-provoking verses the children muse about evidence of love they had never noticed before. Although this novel captures several kinds of splintering, its climax imparts hope of a solid healing. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Booklist
(April 1, 2004; 0-439-53597-2)

Gr. 9-12. A stranger high on PCP crashes a family gathering, brandishing a machete. Dad's heart gives out while fending off the intruder, who then hacks his way into the bedroom where 15-year-old Paulie is hiding. A scene from a lurid horror novel? Nope. No one dies, for one thing. Corrigan is interested in what happens after 0 such a traumatic experience, how "the knots of people someone decided to unravel" knit themselves together again. In the same potent, naturally cadenced poetry that she applied to her own anorexia in You Remind Me of You 0 (2002), Corrigan alternates between the viewpoints of fierce 15-year-old Paulie and her reclusive older brother, Jeremy, also present during the attack. Corrigan's poetry captures every nuance of the siblings' relationship, although it proves a somewhat clumsy tool for explaining the family issues that hover in the background, including some hazily described physical abuse. But teens will be drawn to the terrifying premise and the characters' searing intensity. --Jennifer Mattson Copyright 2004 Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545794657
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/21/2014
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
File size:
11 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Eireann Corrigan is the author of the poetry memoir You Remind Me of You, and the novels Splintering, Ordinary Ghosts, and Accomplice, which Publishers Weekly called "haunting and provocative" in a starred review. She lives in New Jersey.

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Splintering 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. In the beinging it jumped around so much and it took my a little while to get that two people were telling the story. But after the first 40 pages or so you really get into it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love short chapters. I think the book goes faster than long, 30-page chapters. I picked this book up, truthfully, because the cover looked cool. Inside looked cool, also. So, i raed the back and thought it'd be interesting to read. I started about 30 pages and put it down for a while becuase it jumped around too much. Then, one Sunday, i finished the book and couldn't put it down. After reading about 10 pages, you feel part of the environment already. It's written in two perspectives and several time frames. I give it 4 stars becuase it was excellent, but was a little hard to follow.