THEY NEVER CAME BACK by Caroline B. Cooney

Reading level: Young Adult

Publisher: Delacorte books for Young Readers

Hardcover: 208 pages

(January 12, 2010)


Upon reading the synopsis for this novel I was intrigued with the concept of a girl being left behind as her parents flee the country to escape being imprisoned for embezzlement. The subject matter of financial ruin during these unstable economic times are timely. So, I grabbed this book and devoured it in a day, and days later my mind still goes back to this page turning read.

THEY NEVER CAME BACK centers on two characters Cathy Ferris and Murielle Lyman. Cathy is attending a specialized language program when one day she is spotted by Tommy Lyman, who confronts her during a crowded lunch hour insisting that she is his missing cousin Murielle, whom the family lost track of 5 years ago. "And who is Murielle?" Cathy asks, but it is too late. The accusation is made and the whole school is abuzz. Unfortunately for Cathy she has to deal with not only the entire school but a persistent FBI agent who wants to use her as bait to capture Cade and Rory Lyman.

The story is told in alternating perspectives from Cathy and Murielle's point of view and it gives understanding to where these characters are coming from. My heart ached for Murielle and her feelings of loss and abandonment and then for Cathy who embodied the life she has now has and the decision she would have to make. There are other minor characters that give it added life and that asks and answers those questions that we will make during this read.

I enjoyed this mystery by Caroline B. Cooney and would recommend its quick pace and intriguing story to anyone. It will leave you pondering on what you would do if you where in that situation.


  1. Caroline B. cooney is one of my favorite authors. Have you read Wanted or the Vampire's Promise series by her?
    Not sure if I have read this one before though, but it sounds really good. :)

  2. This isn't really my thing, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. Great review as always!

  3. I LOVE Carolyn B. Cooney! Among Friends was one of my favorite books growing up.

  4. Thank you for this informative article. Looking forward to see more like this hssc


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