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Eye Contact


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About the Author

Cammie McGovern was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and received the Nelson Algren Award in short fiction. Her work has been published in Redbook, Seventeen, Glimmer Train, TriQuarterly, and other publications. This is her second novel.


A parent's worst nightmare becomes a crusade for justice in McGovern's dynamite second novel (after 2002's The Art of Seeing), set in an unspecified middle-class suburban community. Shortly after Adam, a nine-year-old boy with autism spectrum disorder, and his friend Amelia, a 10-year-old diagnosed with PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified), disappear during recess from Greenwood elementary school, a traumatized Adam turns up next to Amelia's body in the nearby woods. Cara, Adam's 30-year-old single mom, helps the police unlock the clues in Adam's mind to try to identify Amelia's killer. Cara finds surprising assistance from 13-year-old Morgan, who's determined to solve the crime in order to distract authorities from his own guilty secret-accidentally starting a fire in the wetlands his lawyer/environmentalist mom was trying to protect. Meticulously researched and emotionally absorbing, this provocative page-turner also addresses an important issue-how to educate and care for children with special needs. Film rights optioned by Julia Roberts. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

When nine-year-old Adam is discovered hiding in the woods beside the body of a classmate, the police are very interested in talking to the only witness to the little girl's murder. Adam is autistic, however, and this traumatic event forces him to retreat to his own silent world. As his mother, Cara, tries to answer the many questions about her son's bizarre behavior, she launches her own investigation and discovers that certain secrets from her past have surfaced, causing her to question everything and everyone around her. McGovern (The Art of Seeing) has written an unusual literary mystery that combines the elements of a women's novel with the gripping aspects of a good suspense story. Taut writing and alternating viewpoints work effectively to lead the reader down several dead ends en route to an unpredictable and satisfying conclusion. This page-turner is a rewarding look into the life of a mother who must discover the truth, even if it ends up hurting her-and her son-in the process. Recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/06.]-Kellie Gillespie, City of Mesa Lib., AZ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

An airtight thriller that illuminates the exhausting, isolating realities of parenting special- needs children. (People)

An enticing drama. (Entertainment Weekly) Deeply moving, actually gripping . . . Cammie McGovern . . . brings to the page an empathetic understanding of the lock that autism places on a mother s child. (New York Daily News) Eye Contact is a page-turner. . . . But it s also . . . a nuanced, poignant exploration of how all of us with or without autism struggle to find our place in the world. (Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep) So detailed and illuminating are McGovern s descriptions of Adam . . . that she offers, in essence, a primer on the nature of autism. Eye Contact is compelling by virtue of its spiky and in-transition characters. Psychologically rich and sensationally eventful. (Chicago Tribune)

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