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A. M. Vrettos
Egmont Children's Books
Jan 2006
My stomach lurches when I think about how it must have felt, to think you�re invisible, and suddenly have all those eyes looking at you, instead of looking through you.

Skin is in essence a love story, a story about familial love gone horribly wrong and the resultant consequences. Focusing on Karen, �Skin� is really Donnie�s story of the slow comprehension of the traumatic death of his sister whose decline he has seen charted through her gradual wasting away and the series of notebooks she has kept.

It is a tribute to debut novelist Vrettos� skill that �Skin� is in no way a heavy book, yet neither is it frivolous. There is lightness of touch in the narrative voice which allows the story to be both life-affirming and uplifting despite its inevitable conclusion.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy in �Skin� is the Leplant parents' unending efforts to maintain some level of family balance and thereby to do the best by their children Karen and Donnie. Throughout they remain oblivious to the emotional effects they thrust upon their offspring. If dysfunction lives within this novel it does not arise through hatred or indifference but rather through love - and it is this which makes the book so painfully poignant and powerful.

Depiction of Karen�s anorexia is at once central and yet incidental to the novel. Interplay between the issue being central and incidental is what makes the book successful in making this story of at once visible and three-dimensional.

There can be no doubt that this is an �issue� led book, but the issue does not wholly subjugate its narrative.

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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on January 19, 2006 9:34 AM.

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