The Girl Next Door eBook ☆ The Girl eBook ¼

The Girl Next Door ❮Read❯ ➸ The Girl Next Door ➻ Author Jack Ketchum – Dziewczyna z sąsiedztwa Jacka Ketchuma to jedna z najsłynniejszych powieści grozy ostatnich lat uznawana za jedną z najbardziej wstrząsających powieści w historii literatury Nareszcie ukazuje s Dziewczyna z sąsiedztwa Jacka Ketchuma to jedna z najsłynniejszych powieści grozy ostatnich lat uznawana za jedną z najbardziej wstrząsających powieści w historii literatury Nareszcie The Girl eBook ¼ ukazuje się na polskim rynkuTo legendarna już opowieść o szaleństwie rodzącym się w ludzkim umyśle i o tym jak to szaleństwo zaraża wszystkich wokół jak infekuje niewinne umysły i prowadzi do eskalacji cierpienia bólu i nienawiściObok tej książki nie można przejść obojętnie.

  • Paperback
  • 307 pages
  • The Girl Next Door
  • Jack Ketchum
  • Polish
  • 03 April 2015
  • 9788361386018

About the Author: Jack Ketchum

Dallas William Mayr better known by his pen name Jack Ketchum was an American horror fiction author He was the recipient of four Bram The Girl eBook ¼ Stoker Awards and three further nominations His novels included Off Season Offspring and Red which were adapted to film In Ketchum received the World Horror Convention Grand Master Award for outstanding contribution to the horror genreA onetime actor.

10 thoughts on “The Girl Next Door

  1. Flannery Flannery says:

    This is a fictional story based on an actual 1965 killing of a teenage girl in Indiana The girl Sylvia Likens and her sister Jenny were put into the care of a single mother by their carnie parents The woman Gertrude Baniszewski several of her children and some neighborhood children tortured and eventually murdered Sylvia She was forced to endure unbelievable atrocities like scalding baths the carving of words into her body with needles repeated beatings eating feces and worse Ketchum describes in graphic detail what those events might’ve been like from the point of view of the next door neighbor boy Teenage Davy lives on a dead end street and has been hanging out with the same neighborhood kids for his entire childhood One day while catching crayfish he meets Meg who has just moved with her sister into Davy’s next door neighbor’s home Meg and Susan’s parents were killed in an auto accident and the only relative to take them in is Ruth a single mother of three boys There’s not too much need to go into the plot from here because you all know where it is going I knew where it was going as well but that didn’t make it any easier to read A few weeks ago I saw a story on the news about two 48 year old twins in Houston who lived with their mother’s decomposing body after she passed away I watched in horror as the newscasters described how the grown men frankly told police officers that she had tripped and fell while they were watching the BCS championship and then they just left her there conscious and able to speak until she passed a few days later And the reason that they gave for not calling anyone after her death Inability to pay for burial expenses a judge has not ruled on their mental ability to stand trial as of 5511 What made me think of this story in relation to the book was my wondering about how the hell anyone could ever passively watch someone tortured or slowly dying and do nothing about it Davy knows that Meg is being tortured and I was fascinated with his reasoning about why everything was happening and whether he should do anything about it Ruth and other perpetrators of such atrocities must just be mentally unstableat least I hope that is the case But there wereare just so many other people involved in crimes like this are they all mentally unwell I’d love to be able to say that a crime as atrocious as this could never happen nowadays but it just did again Angela McAnulty starved abused tortured and eventually killed her own daughter in Eugene Oregon just last year There were other people living in the house at the time HOW How can these people not report what is going on In terms of the book loosely basing a story on real life events really gives an author an out I want to say that xy and z didn’t seem realistic or probably didn’tcouldn’t happen but I haven’t gone through the notes on the trials so maybe they actually did I always get a horrible feeling in my stomach when characters tell the police about something and then the police either 1don’t take them seriously; 2 brush it off; or 3 don’t trust a child and then turn them back over to their abuser I can’t pretend to know how much work police men and women have but it is horrible to hear of events like this happening and to know that they were absolutely preventable if someone had intervenedThis is a hard book to stomach I recommend it to no one and everyone at the same time No one will “enjoy” reading it A lot of people probably won’t make it through the whole book It is filled with sick sick things But sick things that happened and are still happening which makes it all the painful to read There is a special place in hell for people who torture children

  2. Stephen Stephen says:

    WARNING For those of you that still have a tattered fragmentary scrap of optimism for the inherent goodness of people this book may well rip it from you and shred your faith in mankind This book is as disturbing as anything I have ever read This is mostly because the novel slammed all of my softweak spots when it comes to violence including 1 Torture; 2 Sadism;3 Violence against children;4 Violence committed by children; and5 Prolonged mental abuseand worst of all this is based on a true story and the most horrific aspects of the story actually happened Pardon my collouialism but are you fucking kidding me What kind of a world do we live in and who do I talk to about a serious dereliction on duty Whoever is in charge of this “show” we all act in needs to GET INVOLVED and start doing a much better job of bouncing the scum out of this establishment because there are far too many people dancing at this global party that belong at the bottom of cesspool The book description and other reviews have done a great job of describing the basic storyline especially Flannery's review which can be found here Therefore I will just briefly summarize the story The book is a fictionalized account of the real life torture and murder of a teenage girl in Indiana In the book Meg and Susan are placed under the foster of a woman named Ruth after they lose their parents to a car accident that has left Susan crippled During the course of a summer of slowly escalating depravity Ruth her children and a group of neighborhood kids under Ruth’s direction brutally torture and murder Meg The story is narrated decades after the fact by one of the neighborhood boys Davy who suffers extreme guilt because he was aware of the torture but didn’t do anything to stop it until it was too late I think Davy is the perfect metaphor for an apathetic society The story is horrific graphic disturbing and as far from a pleasurable experience as you are likely to get However I do want to make this very very clearthis is NOT TORTURE PORN or gratuitous violence for its own sake which I call movies like Hostel and Saw etc Ketchum has a reason for this story and it is not to titillate It is to horrify His deftly accomplished escalation of the horrors suffered by Meg is masterful and allows the reader to “see” through Davy’s eyes as he constantly convinces himself that everything is okay or not as bad as it looks Thus we see Meg’s ordeal begin with occasional insults that are shrugged off This escalates into constant verbal abuse and harsh spankings which are seen by Davy as the way things are for kids” When the abuse finally escalates into severe emotional and physical abuse followed by captivity torture and finally death Davy sees the wrongness but by then is caught up in the fervor of “The Game” as it is called Throughout this unbelievable ordeal Ketchum makes the narrative seem so “authentic” that the horror is made even worse because the reader KNOWS that thiscouldand didhappen One of the tougher parts of this book for me was that it made me confront something I find somewhat troubling about myself but that I know will always be a part of me I have a wife and two daughters 6 and 11 who I love than I can possibly put into words no matter how hard I try It is just a different order of magnitude though I am sure my fellow parents and spouses can understand When I read this story I was reminded of two things about myself First if anyone ever brutalized one of my loved ones and I was able to get a hold of them the perps would SUFFERBADLY for the rest of their miserable time on this planet Call it a “primal” or vengeful aspect of man but I would certainly unleash it in that instance At times like that I always think back to the “post rape” scene in Pulp Fiction when Ving Rhames say What now Lemme tell you what now I'm gonna call up a couple a hard pipe hittin' niggers and go to work on the holmes here with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch You hear me talkin' Hillbilly boy I ain't through with you by a damn site I'm gonna get medieval on your ass This shit is between me you and Mr Soon to be living the rest of his short ass life in agonizing pain rapist here Yes it would be like that Oh and the second thing is that I am completely 100% okie dokey comfortable with the above It is just how it wouild be To sum up this is a tough tough book to read However it is also an excellent book and one that I think has an important lesson to impart about the depths of human depravity and the need for good people to confront the brutality when they see it happening It is certainly memorable and will stay with me forever HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 40 to 45 stars

  3. Mort Mort says:

    You should ask yourself only one thing Are you ready for this bookNo matter what you think you probably won't beThe blurb reads as follows A teenage girl is held captive and brutally tortured by neighborhood children Based on a true story this shocking novel reveals the depravity of which we are all capable That's it And in a nutshell that is about 99% of the story I went into this with a lot of knowledge about the book and some about the true story with eyes wide open and ready for almost anything AlmostJack Ketchum was a brilliant writer and his words manages to pull you into this other reality where you are an impotent spectator to the horrors inflicted on someone truly innocent There were times when I wanted to scream out loud the frustration making my blood boil And the helplessness I felt because I knew how this was going to end made me wish I had the ability to do something about itThis story will make you angry as well you should be These words will turn your stomach will boil your blood will yank at your heart and nest in the deepest darkest corners of your mind with all the other things you wish you could forgetThis is probably the most brilliantly written book I have ever read but I can't recommend it to anyone because those words may change you If you are reading this and you ever feel like you want to uit please do Some things will never be unseen and some words will never be unread You have to make up your own mind if you are willing to take that leap of faith and whatever your motivation please know that this is probably the most depraved thing you will ever read because the monsters are mostly childrenIf you feel up to it read the story about Sylvia Likens who was the victim in the true storyI leave with this thought a uote from the bookIn the basement with Ruth I began to learn that anger hate fear and loneliness are all one button awaiting the touch of just a single finger to set them blazing toward destructionAnd I learned that they can taste like winning

  4. Sadie Hartmann Sadie Hartmann says:

    DNFI’m outI just can’t with this book any update an hour or so after I uitListen I'm not faint of heart I'm not a gentle spirit Horror is my favorite genre and I love my stories bleak and dark but sometimes we have to know our limits Is nothing off the table No We have to be true to ourselves As much as I think Ketchum is a powerful brave writer who drew me into this story even as I was dragging my heels I just couldn't hang with those details any I was angry upset exhausted and I just didn't want one image to enter my brain As it is from what I read I won't forgetMy heart breaks for the real 'Meg' who endured this horrific violation and for the boys who got drunk and stupid off their game of power led by an adult who was insane It's really the sickest story of human depravity I just don't want to know

  5. Tracy Robinson Tracy Robinson says:

    I get this feeling when there’s something important I know I’ve forgotten or when I sense that something is gravely wrong in my little world It starts slow I’d call it butterflies in my stomach but that implies things much light hearted than what I speak of here As I worked my way through this novel completely enveloped in the world created by Ketchum it began Very lightly In fact it was only on the second day of reading this book that I even noticed Today as I made lasagna for my family I kept reading I’d pause every now and then check on my kids that were playing Monopoly in their room They were fine I read The feeling was stronger it started to pull at my guts like it does when I’ve really messed things up somehow or have neglected something major Texted my husband and mom all was well I felt like I was losing my mind Everything was fine but this sense of “wrongness” lingered and grew It still didn’t sink in why I kept reading things were grim in the novel but it wasn’t too badyet Then I got it Somehow before I’d even reached the most horrific parts of this novel this story had wound itself in my depths in my subconscious and I honestly think my mind and body were warning me on the most primal level Fight or flight maybe and it wanted me to bolt Or help But I didn’t It urged me to DO SOMETHING but of course I couldn’t I couldn’t save her I couldn’t tell anyone and get her help I couldn’t make David help her I couldn’t help David And this inability to act to only be a spectator to the most horrible acts of depravity all the so because these actually happened was absolutely wrenching Am I glad I read this book No and yes There’s still a heavy “thud” in my guts I still feel the urge to check on my people to make sure all is well in every nook and cranny of my little life I do know this I want to get my hands on everything else Ketchum has written For those who haven’t read it please check all the trigger warnings provided by so many of the reviews of this book before beginning

  6. Char Char says:

    Before reading this book you need to prepare yourselfYes it's going to be disturbingYes it's going to turn your stomach to knotsYes it's going to make you very very angryI won't go into the plot since several reviews and the book description already do that I will say that to me this book reveals the ugliest possible sides of human behavior the worst being when good people do NOTHING to help Even the author is disgusted by what happened according to his note at the back of the book READ AT YOUR OWN RISK

  7. Edward Lorn Edward Lorn says:

    There's going to be some personal information in this review If you feel uncomfortable reading about child abuse of a sexual nature you might want to skip this oneThe Girl Next Door was one of the first Leisure paperbacks I recall buying I don't know what I was expecting but what I got was a kick in the teeth This book is brutal and unapologetic And in my opinion Ruth is one of the scariest characters to be found within the pages of the book What makes this all the terrifying and unsettling is that the story is based on true events This time around I decided to listen to Jack Ketchum read the book to me via audiobook The one criticism I have is that Ketchum like Ruth is a heavy smoker You can hear evidence of this in the way he breathes I constantly felt myself drawn out of the story and and wondering about Ketchum's health His voice isn't unpleasant but his breathing is You likely won't notice but I did He reminded me of my father who was on oxygen during the final years of his lifeHere's where the personal info comes into play You can skip to In summation if you likeGrowing up I lived down the street from a pedophile named Eddie The guy was arrested after a neighbor walked in on him molesting his mentally impaired son Jamie Jamie's brother Ryan soon confessed that yes Eddie had been messing with both of them After that all the kids in the neighborhood came crawling out of the woodwork with stories of how Eddie had been at them I recall very clearly playing hide and seek with Ryan and group of our friends Ryan and I hid in a closet While we were in there Ryan unzipped his pants and pulled out his penis He said Put it in your mouth I was ten and he was a year older than me but even then I knew there was something wrong with what he was asking me I mean you pee out of that thing Why would I want to put my mouth on it I called him nasty and he laughed He put his dick away and said he'd only been kidding We played the rest of the day and never mentioned it againThat was my only odd experience with that family meaning Eddie never got a hold of me Although there were stories about how my sisters offered themselves up willingly so he would leave me alone To this day I'm not sure if that's true It's not something I feel comfortable asking them because we're not that close Soon after he was caught one of the girls on the block came up pregnant Rumors flooded the street about how the father was Eddie The girl's mother had had a thing for him and used her daughter as a bargaining chip to win Eddie's attention Years later I remember thinking what kind of woman would do such a thing Reading The Girl Next Door hit me that much harder because of all that Monsters come in all shapes and sizes They come in all genders Unfortunately people like Ruth exist Trust me I knowWhen Eddie got out of jail a few weeks later he would park on the cross street and walk up and down our block He'd point at houses and nod his head He'd wave at anyone he'd happen to catch in their yards or looking out their windows This was years before sexual predators had to register on a national list and it was months before a restraining order was put into effect Some of you might recognize parts of this story because I put a different version of these events in one of my books Looking back I know how lucky I was In summation Rereading this wasn't a bright idea but I don't regret it I'll never say that I enjoy reading it but I feel everyone should experience it at least onceFinal Judgment Utterly horrific

  8. Evgnossia O& Evgnossia O& says:

    I've seen the movie a couple of days ago It gave me nightmares I don't think that I have the courage to read the book I'm pretty sure that it'll drive me insane Won't happen any time soon

  9. Johann (jobis89) Johann (jobis89) says:

    My mom says Meg's the lucky one he said My mom says she got off easyIn 1950s suburban America two teen girls are left in the care of their aunt following the death of their parents The story is told through the eyes of David the boy who lives next door and who is witness to the escalating abuse and torture that these girls endure at the hands of the aunt and the rest of the children in the neighbourhoodFirst of all I need to explicitly warn potential readers that this book is very graphic and detailed and it is NOT for the faint of heart That being said I can categorically state that this is the most brutal disturbing upsetting traumatising book that I have ever read I did not enjoy reading this book it made me angry upset and downright incredulous that people are capable of such inhumane actions because this is not just some sick and twisted idea that Ketchum came up with it is based on a true story For those who are not familiar this case is based on the murder of Sylvia Livens at the hands of Gertrude Baniszewski and her childrenkids in the neighbourhood I read up on this case after finishing the book and somehow the events that actually happened are even worseKetchum's writing in this is not flowery and beautifully written it is full of short and abrupt sentences that just cut right to the chase And this suits the type of story that he is trying to tell and the reaction that he is trying to provoke And boy does he succeed It's not an easy read by any means at times I just wanted to shut the book and throw it in the bin but it's also an important book because these things DO happen People DO torture children and adults for that matter But at the same time in the light of such acts of violence and human depravity we need people who will act out against it Granted not everyone wants to read about it but I think it's something we all need to be aware of Sometimes not doing anything is almost as bad as those taking part in such crimesDavid is an interesting character we learn everything that happens through his recollection of events Although he never actually partakes in any of the abuse is he complicit because he is aware of it even though he is only a 12 year old boy At times I just wanted to scream at him to tell someone to tell his parents but he goes through a range of different thought processes from not thinking he's doing anything wrong as he PHYSICALLY isn't doing anything to considering the fact that maybe Meg deserved it to getting mixed up with his pre teen sexual angst and curiosity The girl who bore the brunt of the abuse Meg is heroic in my eyes She endures abuse and torture that you cannot even fathom and yet she manages to hold onto her dignity no matter how much they try to take it away from her Any opportunity where she is close to giving in all they need to do is threaten her sister and Meg will endure whatever they put her through How I cried for this young girl Rating this book was tough as I cannot say I enjoyed it However I found it hard to stop reading and it evoked such a strong emotional reaction in me that can only be gained from solid writing and a well executed story with empathetic characters in this case Meg and her sister It's a powerful book one of the most powerful I've ever read and Ketchum has achieved exactly what he set out to do to horrify 5 stars

  10. Maciek Maciek says:

    The most horrifying thing about Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door is that it is based on a true incident horrendous abuse torture and eventual murder of the 16 year old Sylvia Likens in 1965 Sylvia's parents carnival workers who moved often left her and her sister in Indianapolis under care of their acuaintaince Gertrude Baniszewski Baniszewski was paid to care for the girls but as the payments were late she began to abuse the young girls focusing the torrents of her anger on Sylvia Details of this abuse are too horrible to recount but what is horrifying is that Baniszewski openly encouraged her own children and those of the neighbors to indulge in tormenting Sylvia on their own imprisoning her in the basement Although Baniszewski's daughter Paula would not only brag about it in public but also beat Sylvia in front of the neighbors nobody did anything to stop it or help her in any way Sylvia eventually died from her extensive injuriesI did not know about this before I read the book in fact I approached it without knowing anything about it I have only read one novel by Jack Ketchum before Off Season which is a visceral gruesome horror novel featuring a tribe of cannibals and some very unlucky vacationers somewhere in remote woods in Maine the same state where Stephen King lives and sets most of his work Although it has plenty of intense and graphic violence Off Season lacks pretty much everything else which made it a rather disappointing reading experience for this reader The Girl Next Door is a much better book because in it Ketchum does what he didn't do in Off Season develop a proper build up and characters and establish tension which lasts almost all throughout the novel The narrator of the novel David writes it down as a recollection of events which happened a long time ago when he was growing up in a small town Although David is a successful financier on Wall Street he has two failed marriages behind him already and is at the eve of the third he is filled with sadness regret and guilt haunted and gradually destroyed by events which took place thirty years ago To an outsider David's childhood was a relatively normal experience of a young boy growing up in a small town in the 1950's Although he can see that his parents have marital troubles and knows of his fathers's affairs he has a circle of friends who live right next door to him the Chandler boys who live with their mother Ruth Their father left the family for another woman leaving Ruth alone to take care of the three boys Everyone at the street loved to hang out at Ruth's place even though she kept her boys in line she also gave them beers and let them enjoy themselves; David and his friends felt good at Ruth's place because it was a place where they could be themselves and feel natural in David's case so than at home Although David does not consider his childhood to be special in any way there is no suggestion that he is unhappy he camped with his friends in a real tent listened to Elvis on a record player smoked cigarettes and drank beers in secret In another life his childhood recollection would be much in tune with the novel's idyllic opening image a young boy lying down next to a clear brook in a picturesue forest catching crayfish on a bright sunny dayThe woods and the brook are both the opening of the book and the end of David's childhood this is where he meets Meg Loughlin whom he declares to be the prettiest girl that he ever saw David is smitten with Meg and confused by her she is older than other girls that he knows and his feelings towards her are different He longs and yearns for something when he sees her but doesn't exactly know what; Ketchum manages to capture the butterflies of youthful infatuation in his net David learns that Meg is a distant relative of the Chandler's and that she will be moving in with them together with her younger sister Susan after they both lost their parents in a car accident The accident left Meg with a scar and Susan crippled unable to walk without her crutches David is even impressed with Meg as a survivor he manages to overcome his shyness and ask her to go to the local carnival with him where they share several sweet and memorable moments In another life these moments could develop into a beautiful romance; here they are a prelude to a great tragedyThe problem with novels based on real events is that we know what will eventually happen and it is no great surprise when it finally does This is also the case with The Girl Next Door but does not ruin the book Ketchum does a very good job with establishing a slow buildup with proper foreshadowing in all the right places The specter of horror hangs over the book and when it finally descends it begins slow but uickly becomes almost unimaginable The fact that The Girl Next Door was inspired by the murder of Sylvia Likens does not cheapen it or make it exploitative Meg is not Sylvia and Ruth is not Gertrude There have been hundreds if not thousands of such cases all over the worldThere are two big Whys in this book why did Ruth begin abusing Meg and her sister Was she jealous of her youth and beauty which painfully reminded her of her own age and hardships which tore away at her looks Did Meg remind her of her husband who ran away with a woman who could have been her Did she think that her boys might become interested in Meg than they were in her Did she not want her authority uestioned both as a parent and a woman I think this uestion is not adeuately answered but then again we see Ruth only from David's perspective and although he sees her at her house he mostly spends time with her boys and does not live with them David acknowledges that he does not understand why she did what she did destroyed a young girlThe other big why regards the Chandler children and David why did they participate in the abuse and grew increasingly ferocious and why did David do nothing to stop them and stood idly by How could the Chandlers horribly abuse and torture Meg and at the same time go on with their lives as if this was a perfectly ordinary thing to happenAlthough David does not take part in the abuse of Meg he does not do anything to stop it or tell his own parents until it is too late Besides Meg and Susan who are both obvious innocents David is the only decent character in the entire book yet he is not without his flaws and desires which he himself acknowledges he peeps on Meg with the other boys waiting for her to undress in her room and when she doesn't even show up he is furious and begins to hate her for it as if she disappointed him owed him her nakedness When he does see Meg naked and in captivity he is overcome with desire to touch herHis saving grace is that he doesn't touch Meg but his condemnation is that he doesn't stop others from touching her and doing worse things Of all the youths in the book David is the only character who is at first taken aback by Meg's treatment and eventually sees what is happening to her as something terribly wrong He is the only boy who sympathizes with Meg and who feels ashamed at what is happening and his own role in it but this knowledge or conscience if you will makes him even guilty than those who took part in her abuse The Chandler children did it all under the watchful eye of their mother if she would order them to stop they would stop immediately If she'd forbid them from hurting her they would not hurt her But Ruth did not only not stop her sons from torturing Meg she actively encouraged it and took part in it herself David acknowledges that this torment was Ruth's show her presence hangs above them like a ghost even when she is not in the room with them Although Ruth set a series of rules which would justify the abuse as much for the boys as for herself these rules eventually collapsed together with her sanity and all the bets were off Still even then she watched over everything and everything was possible because she allowed it to be soShould we hate David Condemn him for not helping Meg not telling others about her torment It is easy for us to be outraged even furious with him by being entirely removed from his position and enriched by hindsight Could David possibly know what would happen to the sweet girl he first saw at the brook David does not have anyone to talk to he understand that talking to other kids is pointless; although they knew that something was happening at Ruth's house some vaguely others with specific detail not a single one of them had any opinion about it It was like a force of nature; there was no point in discussing something that can't be influencedIn fact it was not the torment that was a force of nature but the fact that it took place under the watch and guidance of an adult In the small suburban community in the 1950's adults controlled all aspects of lives of children adults were the ultimate authority and what they said could not be uestioned This was the social order on which many today look fondly upon children wouldn't even dare to challenge the actions of their parents and other adults and corporal punishment was not only openly accepted but actively encouraged This was the whole point of it kids were supposed to be punished by adults; they were supposed to be subservient to them and obey them unuestioningly Parental love was not supposed to be easy and selfless but exactly the opposite It was supposed to be tough love which would adeuately prepare children for many hardships which would await them in the world Kids had to be straightened out made into proper men and women At one point David acknowledges that kids belong to their parents body and soul we were just kids We were property David is conflicted If Ruth is an adult a parent of his best friends and now a parental figure for Meg then who is he to judge that what she is doing is wrong How can he know that what she is doing to Meg now will not turn out to have been right in the future after all He still feels attracted to Meg but Ruth and her children are his old friends who were always good to him In a memorable scene David sees Meg approach a police officer to complain about her mistreatment Along with the other kids who witness the scene David feels a sense of betrayal how could she tell on them and to an adult and peculiar scared excitement how could she upset the social order and tell on an adult on another adult but the police officer brushes her away; he is a part of the society and in this society children do not uestion their parents much less tell on them to others He tells Meg she should think of Mrs Chandler as her mother and that her mother would probably treat her the same way Who's to say he asks and does precisely nothing for which Ruth mocks and torments Meg later telling her that she deserves punishment for trying to snitch on her Shouldn't snitches be punished David tries to talk to his father but he is no good When David asks his father if it is ever right to hit a woman he realizes that with his evasive and non committal answers his father is trying to justify his own lashing out at his mother which led to the coldness and distance between them It becomes apparent that David's father does not know his own son and that David is unable to connect with his father; mostly he feels nothing for him and if he does feel any emotion it is usually contempt Later in the book David tries to tell his mother but realizes that he cannot; although she is the only person he can tell he realizes that by his own indifference he also took part in Meg's torment and is unable to tell this to her He realizes that he has betrayed Meg and sees himself as evil Does he fear that this is how his mother will also see him or does he fear that this is who he actually is We were juveniles writes David at the end of the book as if legal classification could offer any explanation By now it is obvious that this entire writing is not really meant for any reader but for himself; he confesses to everything that happened now because he did not then but just as then there is no person who can help him now He is alone and realizes this plagued by recurring nightmares of his own failure to act which destroy his relationships and life This is where the true horror of this book lies not description of torture and abuse They actually are not as graphic as I expected them to be they are horrific but Ketchum doesn't focus on them I can easily see many instances in which this book could have easily turned into simple schlock horror but violence is limited to an effective but not overbearing level The actual horror is the gradually emerging sense of complicity in something terrible and the fact that David uses as a poor attempt at consoling himself at the beginning but which makes things infinitely worse That it was happening all over not just at Ruth's house but everywhere

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