Dream with Little Angels
“Hiebert’s first novel courts comparison to the classic To Kill a Mockingbird . . . A coming-of-age tale as devastating as it is indelible.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Abe Teal wasn’t even born when Ruby Mae Vickers went missing twelve years ago. Few people in Alvin, Alabama, talk about the months spent looking for her, or about how Ruby Mae’s lifeless body was finally found beneath a willow tree. Even Abe’s mom, Leah, Alvin’s only detective, has avoided the subject. But now, another girl is missing.
Fourteen-year-old Mary Ann Dailey took the bus home from school as usual, then simply vanished. Townsfolk comb the dense forests and swampy creeks to no avail. Days later, Tiffany Michelle Yates disappears. Abe saw her only hours before, holding an ice cream cone and wearing a pink dress.
Observant and smart, Abe watches his mother battle small-town bureaucracy and old resentments, desperate to find both girls and quietly frantic for her own children’s safety. As the search takes on a terrifying urgency, Abe traverses the shifting ground between innocence and hard-won understanding, eager to know and yet fearing what will be revealed.
Dream with Little Angels is by turns lyrical, heartbreaking, and shocking—a brilliantly plotted novel of literary suspense and of the dark shadows, painful secrets, and uncompromising courage in one small town.
“One of the best books I’ve read in a long, long while.” —Lisa Jackson, #1 New York Times–bestselling author
“There’s something mesmerizing about Hiebert’s storytelling voice, low-pitched and lightly musical.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A masterful coming-of-age gem.” —Deborah C
Set in fictional Alvin, Ala., in 1987, Canadian author Hiebert's first novel courts comparison to the classic To Kill a Mockingbird, with its similar themes of justice and racism and its cast of characters essentially Mockingbird's key players with the sexes reversed. But the book manages to soar as a moving achievement in its own right. Tensions are already rife in the Teal household as headstrong 14-year-old Carry discovers boys, ditches 11-year-old brother Abe (the narrator), and constantly battles equally determined mom Leah Teal, a widowed police officer. Then 14-year-old Mary Ann Dailey disappears on her way home from school. Leah plunges into the investigation as well as resurgent guilt over her failure in 1975 to find the kidnapper of another girl, who eventually turned up under a willow with her throat slit. Abe precocious in some ways but still childish enough to enjoy rock-balancing competitions with his best friend, Dewey struggles to make sense of the dark forces dividing his town, as well as the mysterious ways the wider world works. In Hiebert's sure hands, psychological insight and restrained lyricism combine to create a coming-of-age tale as devastating as it is indelible.
New author for me but nicely done with this first book of his. Kept me going until the very end and now I’m looking forward to his next book. Thank you much for your work that grants me a new place and people to keep me entranced.