The Local News
Thrust into the local spotlight when her older, more popular and athletic brother Danny ends up missing, Lydia finds herself navigating a new strange world. Students at her high school who wouldn’t have given Lydia a second glance are now approaching her with tear-filled eyes. She is subjected to Chuck, a local psychiatrist, to talk about her “feelings” for her brother. Lydia struggles in vain to connect with her grief stricken parents, her father now staring at the TV news endlessly and her mother obsessively making notes about her missing son on index cards. Added to the mix her naive budding feelings for Denis, the detective her parents have hired to look for clues.
Having tolerated Danny’s often cruel behavior, Lydia is not exactly all that upset that her brother is gone. But where exactly does this situation leave her? Not the grief stricken relative everyone expects, but more like someone observing her new life from afar.
The Local News by Miriam Gershow has some really good attributes. The author is dead on in her description of social hierarchy in high school. She also doesn’t sugar-coat the relationship between the protagonist Lydia and her brother. There’s was a relationship of sibling rivalry both at home and at school.
While it is pretty obvious from the beginning of the book that Gershow is a talented writer, I felt that the story lacked an emotional connection between writer and reader. I struggled through most of the book, having a hard time sympathizing with any of the characters. I think I’m probably in the minority, since The Local News got glowing reviews from Books on the Brain and Everyday I Write the Book. For me though, I was left with mixed feelings about the book. Sure the writing was good, but in the end I felt it was a forgettable story.
I read this book as part of TLC book tours.