HH Com 581

In the fall of his senior year of high school, conspiracy enthusiast Mitchell Waterson’s favorite
theory is that John F. Kennedy escaped to the South Pacific while a body double met its end beside Jackie in Dallas. It’s also the year that Mitchell takes six Advanced Placement classes, comes devastatingly close to bedding his ballerina girlfriend, watches his mother be arrested for shoplifting, and realizes he knows more about the Kennedy assassination than his
own father’s suicide. What’s to be discovered about the late James Waterson? As far as his son knows, he was a bartender who could also build a very welcoming birdhouse, and the only time Mitchell ever saw him cry was the morning after John Denver died.

How will Mitchell’s world of Ivy League applications and JFK puzzles change when he finds out the truth about his parents’ pasts? His curiosity – morbidity, really – lands him and his best friend Rob in the small North Carolina town where his father killed himself. Rob and Mitchell visit three strangers who knew James Waterson – an ex-girlfriend who claims to occasionally sit down to tea with his ghost, a distant cousin who speaks through family photos rather than
words, and an old family friend who disarms the heady conspiracy theorist with the stories he never wanted to know.

Great first paragraph. Then you splat into goo.
There's obviously no bad guy here, but the quest is the plot and you'll need more specifics than just a list of characters.


Anonymous said...

I'm with snark about the first paragraph. It's great. Too bad about the splat, but that's fixable. You've nailed the hardest part: voice. I don't care what the book's about. I'd read it.

Anonymous said...

Great voice. I'd read this in a heartbeat.

McKoala said...

Love the John Denver thing.

HawkOwl said...

Yeah, it did sort of trail off, but I'm very impressed by two things. One, because I remember exactly where I was when I heard John Denver died. I thought that was just me. Two, no magic. No magic? You've got to be kidding me. Troubled teenager, no magic. And John Denver. Suh-weet! I'd look at it for sure.

Anonymous said...

Yup, me like too. The bird house, John Denver - me like a lot.

xiqay said...

I kind of like this. I'm interested in Mitchell. I like that he's a conspiracy enthusiast, and that he comes "devastatingly close to bedding his ballerina girlfriend."

There's a gap in the hook-why is Mitchell going to examine his father's suicide?

And then there's the last sentence--"disarms" could mean takes away his defenses, which I guess the conspiracy theories might be. But it's a word that's also used to mean "charms" or "persuades."

I do want to know more.

Good luck.

dana p said...

Not my usual type of thing, but I'd like to read it anyway. I got hooked by the voice and didn't even notice the splat.