The opening sentence, for example-"When Jamie saw him throw the baby, saw Van throw the baby, saw Van throw the little baby, saw Van throw his little sister Nin, then they moved"-reveals Jamie's befuddled state and his efforts to make sense out of inexplicable violence. All of the protagonist's thoughts and reactions ring true. Although its plot is not as far-reaching as that of the author's first novel, Tell Me Everything, this work too seems to spring directly from Coman's heart into the reader's own.
When Jamie saw him throw the baby,
saw Van throw the little baby,
saw Van throw his little sister Nin,
then they moved.
Nin's okay -- Jamie knows because his mom was there to catch her. And then Jamie and his mom and Nin moved to Earl's little trailer in the middle of nowhere. They don't have a lot of money, and sometimes the car doesn't start, but Jamie has his mom and Nin and, most of all, his magic tricks. Things are fine ... as long as no one gets too close.
"The chillingly rhythmic opening scene left me breathless and hooked ... [This] story could have been bleak ... Instead, it comes laced with spiritual and literal magic."
-The New York Times Book Review