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Monday, March 14, 2011

Real-life Drama with a Kick

The Uninvited by Tim Wynne-Jones

I picked this book while randomly scrounging the teen shelves at the local library, and I'm really glad I did.

In this emotional, whirlwind drama, Mimi is a spunky film student at NYU who has an affair with a married professor. When she breaks it off, he takes a turn for obsession and Mimi runs far, far away to her father's "house on the snye," a small, unoccupied cottage in Canada. Her plan: work on a new screen play, ignore all calls from her ex, and get some quality alone time. When she arrives, however, she discovers that she is not alone--already living there is Jay, a music graduate student who just happens to be a half brother Mimi never knew she had, another product of her run-around artist father. Despite the emotional tangle, Mimi decides to stay, and she and Jay build a close bond.

All is not well, though, as Jay has been dealing with harassment at the Snye--break-ins, a snake skin on his pillow, a dead bird placed at his doorstep, new inclusions in his music recordings. Enter player three in this dramatic triangle: Cramer, a local, poor, early-twenties guy working overtime to take care of his manic-depressive mother, all the while trying to connect silently with the guy he knows (privately) to be his half-brother, Jay.

Wynne-Jones weaves together the lives of three young people who were born into different worlds sharing the same blood. Wynne-Jones entangles love, hate, fear, lust, affection, and romantic confusion as Mimi, Jay, and Cramer meet each other first as strangers and friends and then as family. Each chapter alternates in perspective, and while this could be confusing, it instead adds to the reader's understanding of each person in turn.

The Uninvited is all set against the beautiful and whimsical background of "the Snye" where Mimi's father started the journey for all of them, finally culminating in tragedy and then rebirth. Sometimes dark, sometimes flirtatious, the characters are thrown into a strange family drama, but this is no soap opera. It's a suspenseful and emotional story with some creepy overtones thrown into the mix. A solid emotional drama that embraces forgiveness, understanding, personal flaws, and overcoming isolation.


Age 14+ (mature content: sexual allusions/curse words/violence)
Copyright May 2009
ISBN: 9780763639842
Available as an eBook
Image from www.tower.com

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