In “The Most Dangerous Thing,” Laura Lippman, a reputed mystery writer, explores a mythologized childhood in the woods that skirts Dickeyville, a suburb just inside Baltimore, Maryland. In the novel, five neighborhood kids play together back in the late 1970s — back when it was actually possible for kids to roam and play.
The Friday Morning Bookclub happens to be based in the Baltimore area and many members grew up here in the 1970’s. Reading about neighborhoods, streets and parks we knew was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the story seemed “much ado about nothing”.
We hear in the voice of each kid –Gwen, Mickey, and the three Halloran brothers, Sean, Tim, and Gordon – about exploring the neighborhood park and about wondering deeper and deeper into the wilderness. Tragedy ensues, death occurs. They grow apart. They come back together. (Maybe they should have been forced to have play dates?)
While there is some interesting character development and quirky personalities, I just felt let down when it was finished. The whole book leads up to this secret lie or cover up and I was expecting something … well something …
Our bookclub had a lot of fun exchanging holiday gifts and then stealing them from one another. The best idea of the morning, however, was a recipe exchange and book. More on that to come.