Book Review - Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart

Thursday September 16, 2010

Dangerous Neighbors
by Beth Kephart
August 24, 2010
Egmont USA
Goodreads Summary: Could any two sisters be more tightly bound together than the twins, Katherine and Anna? Yet love and fate intervene to tear them apart. Katherine's guilt and sense of betrayal leaves her longing for death, until a surprise encounter and another near catastrophe rescue her from a tragic end. 

Set against the magical kaleidoscope of the Philadelphia Centennial fair of 1876, National Book Award nominee Beth Kephart's book conjures the sweep and scope of a moment in history in which the glowing future of a nation is on display to the disillusioned gaze of a girl who has determined that she no longer has a future. The tale is a pulse by pulse portrait of a young heroine's crisis of faith and salvation in the face of unbearable loss.

Review: A snapshot into the life of a girl on the brink of becoming a young woman  in 1876. Katherine's story is one of heartbreaking grief and guilt. It's as if her life ended too on the day of the tragic accident that killed her twin sister.

The story reads as a combination of Katherine remembering the events that led up to the death of her sister and then her present state of mind as she plans to end her own life amid the many attendees of the Philadelphia Centennial fair. The story centers around Anna's forbidden relationship with a local bakers son who is deemed below her station because he has no money. Katherine not only has to deal with the secrets she must keep for Anna, but also the fact that Anna is growing up and moving on and in a sense replacing her with this new boy in her life. Katherine just isn't ready...

This is a wonderfully written book and I really expected nothing less from this talented author. I'm excited to pass this book around to students and at a mere 176 pages I know the audience will be much wider :) A story with impact that in the end is about forgiveness, moving on and leaves you with the knowledge that one single event can change peoples lives forever. 

Recommended! Best for ages 12 and up