Strange but True

Strange but True

4.2 28
by John Searles
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

After a mysterious fall from his Manhattan apartment, Philip Chase has moved home with his mother, Charlene, a bitter woman who has never fully accepted the death ofher younger son, Ronnie, five years earlier. Numb from watching too much TV and trading snipes with his mother, Philip is in stasis. But everything changes one winter night when Ronnie's high school

See more details below

Overview

After a mysterious fall from his Manhattan apartment, Philip Chase has moved home with his mother, Charlene, a bitter woman who has never fully accepted the death ofher younger son, Ronnie, five years earlier. Numb from watching too much TV and trading snipes with his mother, Philip is in stasis. But everything changes one winter night when Ronnie's high school girlfriend shows up on their doorstep to deliver the news that she is pregnant ... and the father, she claims, is Ronnie.

So begins the startling tale as Philip and his mother confront Melissa's past and their own. Their search for answers takes them on an emotional journey, placing them in the path of murder and revenge. At once a moving story of redemption and a heart-stopping work of suspense, Strange but True brings to life a cast of characters that no reader will soon forget.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The world Searles (Boy Still Missing) presents in his second novel is exquisitely odd yet instantly recognizable, as strange but true as the hidden life of one's next-door neighbor. The novel moves in unexpected directions throughout, most notably morphing from a family drama into a kind of mystery/thriller, but its steady gravitational pull-readers should expect to stay up late for this one-testifies to the solidity of its bedrock impressions, cast by an author with extraordinary powers of observation. Searles opens on the night that Melissa Moody, girlfriend to Ronnie Chase, who died five years earlier in a car crash after their high school prom, visits the Chases to tell Ronnie's brother, Philip, and his cantankerous mother that she's pregnant-with, she's sure, Ronnie's child. That revelation spins both Philip and his mother into some sleuthing, of Melissa's situation-could she somehow have saved Ronnie's sperm?-and into their own hearts, ravaged by Ronnie's death and its bitter aftermath, which includes Philip's recent unexplained return to his hometown of Radnor, Pa., from Manhattan. The story shuttles among various point of views and between past and present as Searles peels back layers of concealment to reveal the truths behind the turns in various people's fates, and behind Melissa's claim. Yet while readers will enjoy traveling to the heart of the mystery, what they'll cherish most in this accomplished novel are its startling real characters, with even the minor players-an ambitious Polish librarian; a lonely, aging gay pet owner-all perfectly crafted. Searle's novel should find a wide and grateful readership. (July 20) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Senior books editor at Cosmopolitan, Searles crafts a second novel about a family shocked by the loss of a son-and his girlfriend's announcement years later that she is bearing the young man's child. With a seven-city author tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-This novel is reminiscent of Dennis Lehane's Mystic River (Morrow, 2001) with its sharp, realistic character portrayal on top of a somewhat flawed mystery. On prom night, Ronnie Chase is killed when his limo crashes, and his girlfriend is left disfigured. Five years later, she arrives at the Chase house to tell the surviving members of his family that she is pregnant and that the baby is his. Though skeptical, they find themselves wishing that her claims were true and attempting to figure out how this could happen. Many characters share their points of view, from the Chases to Melissa to her landlords. Through these voices, their lives over the last five years are slowly revealed, and readers learn the truth behind the pregnancy. Searles has a great sense of pacing, parceling out bread crumbs of the story that entice readers to keep going. Some of his depictions are better than others-librarians in particular will find flaws in his portrayal of a suburban library branch-but on the whole, the characterization is rich and original. The prom setting, hints of the supernatural, and the satisfying if not entirely resolved ending all have solid teen appeal.-Jamie Watson, Harford County Public Library, MD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Dennis Lehane
“A fine, unsettling novel with richly etched characters and a delicious sense of menace.”
Carolyn Parkhusrt
“Imaginative and compelling....John Searles has created a novel that is sometimes eerie, sometimes thrilling, and always completely engaging.”
Augusten Burroughs
“John Searles’ novel illuminates the intricate dynamics of families with humor, heart, and truth.”
Adriana Trigiani
“Funny, mysterious and poignant....John Searles has created a novel to reread and treasure.”
Lisa Scottoline
“This is a page-turner with characters you can never forget.”
Esquire
“Wonderfully entertaining.”
New York Newsday
“Energetic and witty...the plot rocks.”
New York Times
“This tale has a light, eccentric aspect....You’ll race right through it.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Exceptionally good.”
Hartford Courant
“Pitch-perfect...this novel plays out as vividly as a movie....Who wouldn’t be sucked into this story?”
BookPage
“Searles’ portrayal of a family in collective emotional agony is spellbinding.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“’You know what’s coming next, but you don’t know all of it.’ This is the reason we keep reading.”

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062191076
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
12/06/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
80,213
File size:
2 MB

Related Subjects

What People are saying about this

Adriana Trigiani
“Funny, mysterious and poignant....John Searles has created a novel to reread and treasure.”
Augusten Burroughs
“John Searles’ novel illuminates the intricate dynamics of families with humor, heart, and truth.”
Lisa Scottoline
“This is a page-turner with characters you can never forget.”
Dennis Lehane
“A fine, unsettling novel with richly etched characters and a delicious sense of menace.”
Carolyn Parkhusrt
“Imaginative and compelling....John Searles has created a novel that is sometimes eerie, sometimes thrilling, and always completely engaging.”

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >