From the Amazon product description: For young Stanley Mitchell, Jr., 1958 is quickly becoming a year of newfound joys and thrilling adventure. Beginning with the discovery of hidden love letters, Stanley learns about blues music, Sherlock Holmes, racism, and lost dreams. Through the natural course of growing up, he discovers the true nature of his father's heart; learns about love from his mother, sister, and house servant, Rosy; and becomes involved in a forbidden world that exists beneath Dewmont, Texas, like dirt swept under a beautiful carpet. But when Stanley enters a forbidden world of secrets filled with death and darkness, jealous lovers, and ghostly occurrences, he finds the real murderer of the young girl who wrote the once-secret love letters...and becomes the next target.
Wow - all I could think about as I read this was that the main character, Stanley, is right smack dab in the middle of my two boys age-wise. My boys are 10 and 12 and Stanley is supposed to be 11. I can't imagine having the conversations with my boys that occur with Stanley over the course of this summer story. School may be out but Stanley gets quite an education - racism, masochism, sadism, homosexuality, domestic abuse, incest....it goes on and on. I really thought when I picked it up, it would be a sweet coming of age tale with a little murder mystery on the side; boy, was I surprised. It was a wonderful surprise though, because although I like the sweetness of Mitford or Zebra Drive, I really do prefer stories with a bite to them and this one had some sharp teeth. I enjoyed hearing it - it was the kind of book that made me sit in my car and listen a little longer even after I had arrived at my destination. What a nice surprise!
I've finished up the audio book challenge but I'm adding the extras as I finish them.