Maureen Mackey






Awe-Struck E-Books, Nov 2004
Reviewed by Joy Calderwood

Itís hard to understand why Francie and Sam, a settled university couple, have moved out to the suburbs. The easy answer is to make a good home for daughter Savannah. But suburban life isnít the happy fit for them that it is for Savannah. Sam spends so much time commuting he hardly has time to spend with Francie. When a young woman named Angel leaves her newborn baby on their doorstep, Francie applies her unfulfilled emotional energy to tracing the missing mother.

When Francie begins looking more closely at their neighborhood, she wonders how she could ever have thought their suburb was normal. They live in close proximity to an organized group of witches, and even closer proximity to a couple who believe it is a divine duty to kill witches. It seems that everyone except Francie and Sam was out in the woods during the Wiccan Halloween celebration, where an unidentifiable girlís murdered body was later found.

The first section of CRY, BABY, CRY, when Francie is becoming acquainted with the neighborhood and her superhumanly perfect neighbor Sally, is so charming and idealistically convincing that for as long as it lasted, I thought I was a suburb-dweller, too. Francieís motivations as she searches for Angel are well thought out and persuasive. Then we start discovering the close associations with witches held by so many of the suburban neighbors. This goes beyond what can be believed. It makes CRY, BABY, CRY, published just after Halloween, a purely seasonal book, an effect you donít want to have when you want an entire series to be read. The opening chapters deserve better.

Donít look to CRY, BABY, CRY if you want a book with an in-depth study of the minds of its characters. The problems between Francie and Sam get little true exploration, and with the exception of the supportive presence of the retired nurse Mrs. Barnfeather, the remaining characters are included to play roles, not to be felt as human beings. On the other hand, for a book that melts sweetly in the mouth like candy yet doesnít stay around to add to your waistline, CRY, BABY, CRY will do nicely. CRY, BABY, CRY is the third in the Francie and Sam series. It follows MARRIAGE CAN BE MURDER, which is also reviewed on this site.

Nov 2004 Review


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