The Orphan Game

Ann Darby

i picked this up randomly at the library because i couldn’t find any more of the books i was looking for. it started out really promising, the story of a teenager living in southern california in the 1960s who gets pregnant as her boyfriend enlists in the army. there were a lot of interesting details, and the point of view shifted between her and her mother, who recollected on her alcoholic mother and an early family vacation when she met a cousin of her husband. this cousin slowly worked into the story and soon there were parts from her focus as well, as she took in the pregnant girl. then halfway through everything got fragmented and dramatic and soon the girl’s siblings were voicing in briefly and then there was one chapter in third person and then suddenly it was ending without resolving anything. rather disappointing, and after trying to explain the story to someone, i can see why there is no blurb on the back of the book, just positive yet ultimately vague quotes: “Thoughtful … a haunting picture … particularly arresting” said Entertainment Weekly.