The Devil You Know
Sometimes situations beyond their control dictate that
youngsters are forced to grow up too fast, to take on responsibilities
usually handled by adults. They may feel overwhelmed, imposed upon,
and cheated of their youth. Maybe they long for chances to be
spontaneous and adventurous. I surely know how that feels. When
Harriet incurred severe brain damage from spinal meningitis, I was
supposed to go from eleven to thirty overnight.
Cadie (Arcadia), protagonist of Trish Doller's The Devil You
Know, also is quite familiar with the situation. Her mother died,
leaving her to parent her brother and attend school while her father
struggled to keep his small grocery store going in the face of
supermarket competition. "...Back when I was a freshman and Danny was
a baby, he got his days and nights mixed up. It was me who cut a path
in the carpet trying to get him to sleep, and I missed so much school
we got a warning letter from the district. I get that we need Dad's
income from the store, but sometimes I think he forgets Danny is his
child. And that I am his child too."
As the story begins Cadie has begun her post high school
summer. Her life, for the most part, is a round of caring for her
four-year-old brother, doing both indoor and outdoor chores, and
working at the store. She escapes only by planning trips to exotic
locales by way of maps and yard sale guide books...
...until, on a very rare free night, she goes to a major bonfire
party. Two very good looking cousins from Maine, strangers, show up.
They are on an excursion before, Noah, the older one who has just
graduated UMaine, begins work in the real world. They invite Cadie
and one of her friends to join them. Even though she knows she'll be
in major trouble, Cadie can't resist the chance to be young and
carefree for just a few days.
There's only one catch. One of the cousins may be a sociopathic
killer. Where they're going he could easily off her and get away with
On a personal note, I feel like Mother Nature is toying with Maine.
Last week we got snow, only to see it melt. Today we got a decent
dusting. The question on most people's lips is, "Will we get a white
A great big shout out goes out to the December break released and
hopefully safely traveled UMaine students with wishes for a wonderful
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod