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Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 6/25/2013
My Rating: 4 Stars
A beautiful southern read!
After reading an advanced reading copy of Hiebert’s latest upcoming book, Close to the Broken Hearted, coming June 24, 2014 (5 Stars), I fell in love with the character, Abe Teal, and could not wait to read Dream with Little Angels. I highly recommend both, as Abe and best friend Dewey, continue with their adventures, and get in even more trouble in this small town of Alvin, Alabama.
The audiobook, narrated by Kirby Heyborne, definitely captured the southern boyish charm, as echoes To Kill a Mockingbird. Both of Hiebert’s books also remind me a little of author, Charles Martin (one of my favorite authors), as his earlier novels are primarily based in southern rural areas of south Georgia, with a small boy or young man living hard lives with life lessons to be learned.
The Teal family consists of Leah, the mom, a widow raising two children, Abe (11 yrs. old) and rebellious teenager Carry (14.5 yrs. old). Leah is also the police detective in this small town, and she tends to get Abe involved in solving her cases. Her dad was formerly with the force, before he died, making sure she was made detective in order to be able to support her family. (She is aware, she has her weaknesses).
However, her son Abe has quite the imagination! When he and his best friend Dewey put their heads together, they are quite the investigative team. Carry is going through her girl drama stage and hormones flying, so not a lot of peace around the house.
An endearing young boy, Abe is very intuitive, and not very trusting of others, which may be because his dad was killed before getting to really know how, he always gets involved in his mom’s police business, and between the drama of his mom and his teenage older sister- who could blame him for creating mysteries as a diversion, as not a lot to do in this small town.
A new man moves in across the street, which Abe and Dewey thinks strange, as the jury is still out about his story, and the duo keep a watchful eye. In the meantime, several young girls go missing, and Leah feels pressure to solve the case. Years ago another little girl wound up murdered and the case was not solved, so she feels guilty and works overtime trying to solve the mystery.
Uncle Henry, comes to stay with them, as Leah does not want to leave the kids alone during this fearful time, until they catch the murderer. He is full of humor and a likable fun character. Henry does not pull any punches and says what is on his mind—Abe hangs on his every word. Hiebert can definitely write humor mixed with mystery.
Behind these horrible murders and missing girls, there is racial tension, molestation, rape, and a long time dark and abusive background involving another little boy and other residents, impacting many lives.
There are all sorts of clues, but each of them may be going in the wrong direction. Abe of course, is very helpful in helping to solve the case and also acts more like a big brother to Carry than the younger.
A coming- of- age riveting story, an excellent debut novel, told from the eleven-year-old Abe’s point of view. A family struggling with balancing the demands of work and home. As also is apparent in the next book, there is a strong bond between mother and son.
A suspenseful story which draws the reader in immediately with his rich authentic characters, which will warm your heart. Unfortunately, the innocence of small town rural living is tainted with horror and tragedy, as Abe is a witness, as has to be front and center, on his road to growing up.
I am giving this one a 4, just because you need somewhere to grow. After reading the next book, you will agree a 5. Both are winners, and look forward to reading more from this author, for years to come. A creative storyteller, which will make you smile and a thought provoking take-away, for well after the book ends!