i am margret moore by hannah capin

Reviewer rating

Format reviewed: Audio
Ready by Caitlin Davies
6 hours 50 minutes

I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin

I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin was an unexpected favorite. The story is written in a first person stream of consciousness type of narrative that can be hard for an author to pull off and hard for readers to follow. In this mystery Margaret, or Mar, is a girl who has attended a naval themed summer camp from a young age. She has grown close to the other girls who she meets every summer and there is a fierce love and loyalty that forms a central theme of the story. It is a mystery because the story begins the summer after some momentous event occurred that rocked Mar and her friends who are now senior campers. We the reader, and Mar’s friends, don’t know what happened and slowly through the book this is revealed through a layering of Mar’s memories as the early years at camp and the later years are woven together.

Mar feels that she has betrayed her friends by breaking camp rules and sneaking out, which when discovered negatively impacts her group. Also, out of a perhaps misplaced sense of loyalty, she refuses to reveal to them what actually happened, putting them in the tough position where they want to be defend her, but many in the camp feel that Mar was unworthy and brought dishonor upon them. It is the story of Mar managing to fight her way back to be at peace with herself and her friends struggling to figure out what to do when the camp leaders and their parents tell them to drop the matter and move on, but they want to know the truth and be loyal. One of the hallmarks of good YA fiction is when the reader sees similarly aged characters dealing with the challenges, contradictions, and hardships found in society. The author, Hannah Capin, handles this masterfully.

I was swept away in the first third of the book and found the story about the girls and the camp very engaging. In the second third of the book my delight was shattered and I scrambled to figure out what was going on. Things got heavy and a psychological and paranormal dimension is revealed. In the last third of the book I marveled at what a great story and how well put together it was. I listened to the audio version of I Am Margret Moore and Caitlin Davies did a remarkable job as reader of a book written in a format that was very challenging. The audio version definitively helped bring the story alive.

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