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Plum & Jaggers by Susan Richards Shreve

Plum & Jaggers

by Susan Richards Shreve

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(32) Strange little book. A Kindle Lender's Library freebie from the Nancy Pearl Book Lust rediscoveries series. Books from the fairly recent past that are out of publication that have been re-released with her endorsement, introduction, and discussion questions. I have had read a few of this series and for the most part they are pretty good.

The imagery was actually quite haunting - An American ex-pat family are traveling through Italy. The parents of 4 small children just happen to be in the lunch car of the train when a random terrorist bomb explodes there leaving the children orphans. This is the story of what happens to those children as they grow up under the ever watchful eye of the oldest brother Sam who was seven at the time and the only one with permanent memories of their parents and the accident. It is a great premise, but then the book takes an odd turn. The children grow to adults and actors in a comedy series loosely based on their absent parents. Their adult lives seemed a bit surreal and much of the poignancy was lost for me.

Overall, this was an interesting, fairly well-written read. There was much about it that I liked and certain haunting contextual details that were well done. I wish the novel had went in different directions; it had much more potential in my humble opinion. The books in this series so far have been good, light reads (and the price [free] is right) through Amazon Prime! ( )
  jhowell | Aug 9, 2016 |
Very well written, disturbing story ( )
  maryzee | Jun 15, 2015 |
Sam McWilliams, oldest of his siblings, is the only one who remembers the June 11 in the 1960's when a terrorist explosion on a train in Italy killed his parents as they went to the lunch car. Sam is obsessively driven to protect his orphaned siblings, and discovers that he has a gift for quirky humor, eventually writing a darkly-humored family comedy for himself and his brother and sisters called "Plum & Jaggers", taken from his dead parents' love letters. They eventually land a TV series and success, but this fame comes with new pressures and threats that endanger Sam's sanity, eventually resolved by a sweet reunion in Italy with the familt that briefly took them in 25 years ago following the tragedy. A wry and often darkly charming story of an orphaned family who have learned to protect each other in an often senseless world. One quibble is that the identity of the stalker and his motives are never clearly shown, but by the end, this threat has lost much of its menace in the face of the McWilliams' newly regained solidity. ( )
  burnit99 | Feb 20, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374234620, Hardcover)

Orphaned by a Terrorist Explosion that Killed their parents on an Italian train, Sam McWilliams and his three younger siblings create the dark, quirky Plum & Jaggers series of comedic sketches about a family of children whose parents are never at home. The family troupe's fame gathers momentum as they rise from open-mike nights, to small comedy clubs to late-night television spots, until it threatens them with unforeseen and new dangers. With compassion, warmth, and wit, Susan Richards Shreve has crafted a powerful story about family tragedy and one person's refusal to accept fate.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:42 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Haunted by a terrorist explosion that killed his parents and driven to protect his orphaned younger siblings, a member of the comedy troupe Plum & Jaggers begins writing a dark and quirky series of sketches about a family comedy troupe and ends up questioning his sanity.… (more)

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