*** Aquarium by David Vann


Aquarium starts in the Seattle aquarium, where the heroine, a twelve-year old girl, waits for her single mother every day after school. She meets an old man there who seems a little too interested in her, unhinging her mother, who up to then had seemed to be a paragon of discipline and strength. The main character is beautifully rendered, in turn overly innocent and deviously secretive. Her mother’s deranged state seems a little overdone (and certainly lasts a very long time) but the glimpse into the tough life of a dock worker is sobering. If you ever wonder what goes on in the minds of pre-teens, this is worth reading.

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