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The News Where You Are
By Catherine O'Flynn
Completed August 1, 2010

Frank, the main character of Catherine O’Flynn’s latest book, The News Where You Are, is a 40-something newscaster who is facing numerous crises. For example, the buildings created by his father, a renowned post-war architect, were being demolished because they didn’t adequately meet the needs of the residents (though Frank’s father meticulously designed each one with “the future” in mind). As Frank mourns the loss of his father’s architecture, he also mourns the lost relationship between them.

Frank is also dealing with the death of his friend and mentor, Phil – a popular national newscaster who had a Dick Clarkian way of non-aging. Phil was killed in a hit-and-run accident one evening, and his sudden death left a big void in Frank’s life.

While mourning the loss of his friend, Frank became interested (borderline obsessed) with news stories about people who died alone. For Frank, this is the worst way to go, and he begins to investigate one death in particular – that of Michael Church. Frank soon discovers that Michael was Phil’s childhood friend, and he begins to piece together an incredible story of friendship and secrets.

The News Where You Are is a small book but packed with many complex themes – the young and the old; the popular and the lonely; the past and the future. Each character, from Frank and his cranky mother to Frank’s spirited daughter and his practical wife, are developed with the precision of an artist. As Frank uncovers the past life of Phil and Michael, he explores his own childhood and begins to rectify the relationship with his parents. Ultimately, it’s his daughter Mo who offers Frank the best counseling, reminding him that it’s not the past or future that’s important – but the present with the people you love. In essence, the news is – quite simply – exactly where you are. ( )


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 2nd, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC)
It sounds like this book would give me a lot to think about. Great review, as always.
Aug. 3rd, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
Oh, excellent review, Jill! I was all over the place, trying to summarize, but so much happens in such a small book. You did a tremendous writing job - it's exactly what I wanted to say in my review.

Did you read her first book - What Was Lost? I read it almost right after this one, so it was easy to see her style and some similarities in theme. Great read, as good as all the hype and awards would say.
Aug. 3rd, 2010 11:40 am (UTC)
I read What Was Lost for one of the Orange months last year. It was very good though I like The News book a tad bit more. She's a great writer!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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