Thank you, Dutton Books, for the gifted copy of Our Little World 🏡
Trope: Coming of Age
Pub Date: 5.3.2022
Star Rating: ☆☆☆.5
“July 1985. It’s a normal, sweltering New Jersey summer for soon-to-be seventh grader Bee Kocsis. Her thoughts center only on sunny days spent at Deer Chase Lake, evenings chasing fireflies around her cul-de-sac with the neighborhood kids, and Max, the boy who just moved in across the street. That and the burgeoning worry that she’ll never be as special as her younger sister, Audrina, who seems to effortlessly dazzle wherever she goes.
But when Max’s little sister, Sally, goes missing at the lake, Bee’s long-held illusion of stability is shattered in an instant. As the families in her close-knit community turn inward, suspicious, and protective, things in Bee’s own home become increasingly strained, most of all with Audrina, when a shameful secret surfaces. With everything changed, Bee and Audrina’s already-fraught sisterhood is pushed to the limit as they grow up–and apart–in the wake of an innocence lost too soon.”
“How had I not realized this by now? The impact of small things. Small-very-big things. Each-in-the-moment decision leading to the next. Like rungs on a ladder.”
I’ve gone back and forth on how to write this review because while I do think that it was a fascinating book, it failed to live up to the expectation/direction that I anticipated the story to go. Maybe that’s my fault, I read the synopsis and didn’t read many reviews, but I had the impression that there would be more of a mystery to Our Little World. There is some mystery as a child goes missing, and the two Kocsis sisters spend time debating what happened to Sally. But, it was not the focus of the book.
I also struggled with the tedious nature of the book and the dialogue between the sisters. While it is briefly addressed in the book, I had trouble that these girls acted like women and not children. The way they communicated with one another would’ve led me to believe that they were in their late teens (not in seventh grade). Maybe I’m looking into it too much, but it got under my skin a few times.
Our Little World is a coming-of-age novel involving a tragic event that inevitably shapes the sister’s lives. It was a deep look into their lives and the cracks in their family following Sally’s disappearance. It was a beautifully written debut, and I will be reading the next book that Winn writes.
⏮ 80’s nostalgia
👯♀️ Sister bonds
👧🏼 Missing child
📖 Coming of age (with very little mystery)
🤍 Debut novel
❌ – missing child – I’ve had several people message me about the graphic nature of Sally’s disappearance. While it is unsettling, I never felt like Winn went into a lot of detail about what happened to her. I don’t want to give anything away, so DM me, and I’ll explain if you’re looking for more detailed information.
What’s your favorite coming-of-age novel?