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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Growing Pains
Laura Lippman has written a novel centred around five children within three families. Doris and Tim Halloran have three sons, 'crass Tim, Serious Sean and wild Go-Go'. Clem and Tally Robinson have three children, son Miller, and daughters Fiona (Fee), and 7 years their junior Gwen. Rita has a daughter Mickey and a younger son Joey. The author focuses on 5 of the children,...
Published on 27 July 2012 by ACB (swansea)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THE GUILTY INNOCENTS
Is it a fact of life that no matter how old we get we always hear our parents voices echoing back to us as we make our feeble attempt to guide our own children?

Laura Lippman must have been listening to a combination of voices from her past as well as channeling "old blue eyes" singing MY WAY when she embarked on her latest offering A MOST DANGEROUS THING. How...
Published 22 months ago by Red Rock Bookworm


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THE GUILTY INNOCENTS, 17 Oct 2012
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Red Rock Bookworm (St. George Utah USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Innocents (Paperback)
Is it a fact of life that no matter how old we get we always hear our parents voices echoing back to us as we make our feeble attempt to guide our own children?

Laura Lippman must have been listening to a combination of voices from her past as well as channeling "old blue eyes" singing MY WAY when she embarked on her latest offering A MOST DANGEROUS THING. How does that line go? "Regrets, I've had a few but then again too few to mention". Well when you take the sum total of regrets in the lives of the characters envisioned by Ms. Lippman in this latest offering you just might be buried under the avalanche of regrets being voiced.

While the story is ostensibly about five playmates growing up in the town of Dickeyville and a secret that all, except one of them, has chosen to bury in the past, it is in fact a story of three families. Told from the perspective of ten different people each individual segment adds yet another piece of fabric to this patchwork quilt of a novel.

Both the parents and their off-spring seem to be suffering from a combination of depression and guilt as they individually lament the irrevocable choices they have made. Having gone their separate ways for many years, the untimely death of one of the five friends has reunited them together once again (ala The Big Chill). Each begins to mentally examine the "what if's" and the "what might have beens".

Liipmann has given us a relatively coherent and cohesive portrait of three families with each character's perspective adding layers to this paradoxical tale. The "secret" at the crux of the story is really no secret, but more a matter of each person's denial of personal responsibility. This is definitely not the best work Lippman has produced but it does serve as a checklist of sorts which we can all use to examine where we've been, what we fear, what we aspire to, what we could ultimately attain, and what we're willing to settle for.

NOTE: Recently listened to Ms. Lippman's A MOST DANGEROUS THING as a book on CD...BE AWARE The Innocents appears to be the SAME BOOK!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Growing Pains, 27 July 2012
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ACB (swansea) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Innocents (Paperback)
Laura Lippman has written a novel centred around five children within three families. Doris and Tim Halloran have three sons, 'crass Tim, Serious Sean and wild Go-Go'. Clem and Tally Robinson have three children, son Miller, and daughters Fiona (Fee), and 7 years their junior Gwen. Rita has a daughter Mickey and a younger son Joey. The author focuses on 5 of the children, Mickey, Gwen,Sean, Tim and the youngest Go-Go (Gordon) and their parents. The chapters swing between the late 1970's to the present day and are delivered in the first person plural by the children or a parent.

Mickey and Gwen become friends in their early teens and later force themselves into the Halloran boys' set to become close, solid friends (on the surface), likening themselves to the arms of a starfish. They are gregarious, explorers of the nearby sweeping extensive Leaken Park that holds secrets and potential dangers, seemingly oblivious to these and equally diregardful of their parents' declaring it a no-go area. Mickey knows the woods best and her tomboy cavalier attitude to life at this stage inevitably has a profound effect on the narrative. They stumble upon a shack occupied by by a blackman, surrounded by chickens whose prize possession is a guitar. They are all teenagers except Go-Go, and befriend the man they call Chicken George. On a fateful night when a hurricane hits the area, mysterious George is found dead outside his dwelling. The circumstances surrounding this become central to the story. The 5 drift apart after a few summers and go their own way. They are re-united at the funeral of the zany but likeable Go-Go. He had lapsed after 2 years sobriety, got drunk and died in his car after hitting a wall at speed. Accident or suicide? Another conundrum.

At this point and subseqently, the families and their offspring reflect on whether life could have been different and happier. Secrets, deceit, regrets, infidelity, resentment,jealousy and broken or unhappy marriages are largely introspectively examined, but sometimes openly with honesty or bitterness. The past is always carried with us into the future as a law of nature. True personalities and motivation from earlier years with missed opportunities lead to some hands on heart confessions, some unpleasant and surprising. Early parental deaths (plus Go-Go's) have a profound effect on top of the layers of guilt,falsehood and often unhappiness of the protagonists. The unspoken secret of the woods is revealed in the closing pages. The truth will oust inevitably. Go-Go's demise is a matter of unresolved conjecture.

Laura Lippman has written a powerful novel concerning the compexities of personal and interpersonal development of children into adults, where major or seemingly small changes in circumstances or within families can have monumental consequences. There is much in this book to ponder over. Titled 'The Most Dangerous Thing' in the USA. The danger is not in the woods, it is within humanity. This is the mystery.Forgiveness, understanding and openness may have been helpful but that as we read, is easier said than done.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 13 April 2014
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This review is from: The Innocents (Kindle Edition)
In the era of the great thriller/psychological drama this isn't one of them.
The environs of Baltimore are interesting but little else...
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed - thought this would be better, 29 Oct 2013
This review is from: The Innocents (Kindle Edition)
Unfortunately the story doesn't go further than what is in the blurb. The characters are flat and there are too many of them to hold your interest. We are supposed to believe the 5 children are "5 points of a star" in their friendship but I could see no indication that they were ever very good friends or that they even liked each other. I think this book disappointed me all the more because I read it after discovering the fantastic Tana French- now there's tension and excellent writing.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Dissappointed, 20 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Innocents (Kindle Edition)
It looked interesting and I wanted to try a different author.
I could not get into the story at all.
Sorry, but I would not recommend to a friend.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Vivid and intriguing, 4 May 2013
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This review is from: The Innocents (Kindle Edition)
A good read, interlocking lives that drift and are perceived in many different ways. How memories are clouded and altered by time .
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bit ponderous, 21 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Innocents (Kindle Edition)
Had high expectations for this based on reviews but felt it a bit slow to get going and ultimately didn't live up to expectations. All the main characters will very unlikeable and quite annoying and I very easily guessed the ending and was hoping for one final twist that would make getting it through it worthwhile. Sadly disappointing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, 16 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Innocents (Kindle Edition)
I'm still reading this as it took a while to get into it. A novel in the vein of Donna Tartt's "A Secret History", but with a mysterious narrator... written in the first-person plural but doesn't seem to be one of the 5 principal characters...
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Innocent rubbish, 9 Sep 2012
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This review is from: The Innocents (Kindle Edition)
I am afraid this story line was repetetive, weak and predictable. It should have been a very short story and then it might have been too long.
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The Innocents
The Innocents by Laura Lippman
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