Monday, 17 September 2018

The Lonely Witness

Finished September 8
The Lonely Witness by William Boyle

This novel has an interesting protagonist. Amy Falconetti grew up in a New York City borough, but her mother died when she was young and her father had already walked out, so she was raised by her grandparents. She had an interest in observing people, and she saw the next door neighbour kill someone, and did nothing about it. That incident was a defining memory for her.
After her grandparents died, she moved around and developed a unique style. She drank too much, and partied a lot, and when she finally moved to the area she now lives in, it was to be with a girlfriend whose family was from there, and who came back to help her dad.
But her girlfriend left her, and moved out to L.A., and somehow Amy stayed on, but changed. She started dressing more soberly, and going to church regularly, and became a volunteer who delivered communion to parishioners who were unable to come to church. She got a basement apartment at a good rate, and picked up odd jobs for the little cash she needed to get by.
But one day, everything changes. When she is giving communion to an elderly parishioner, Mrs. Epifanio, the woman expresses concern about another woman who usually comes and sits with her in the afternoon for a bit, but whose son has suddenly come instead, and whose behavior makes her uncomfortable. Amy offers to come the next time Mrs. Epifanio's visitor normally comes, and she meets the young man, who indeed behaves in a very suspicious way. Amy decides to follow him, and does so repeatedly, but is horrified when she sees the young man murdered by someone he knows.
Amy involves herself in the situation, but in very unusual ways, giving her access to more information about the young man and his life. As the murder reminds her of the incident she observed years ago, Amy finds herself questioning her own behaviour, her life, and her future.
When her father suddenly reappears in her life, she finds herself overwhelmed and isn't sure what to do. This is a book about a woman faced with an unusual situation that may be a terrible mistake or an opportunity to start fresh. I liked Amy, and was pleased with her starting to take her life back into her own hands.

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