The Basket Maker
Kate Niles
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The Basket Maker

Kate Niles
GreyCore Press
224 pages
June 2004
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Sarah is used to all the moving. She is used to her mother ignoring her, her brotherís anger, and her fatherís coming and goings. Neither Sarah nor her older brother understand why they have been assigned a common bedroom down in the unfinished basement of their newest home. She wishes her mother didnít reject her, and that her father spent more time with her than with his male students on long hikes in the Rocky Mountains. Sometimes these feelings threaten to come to the surface and weave a web that would trap her in reality, but Sarah learned long ago to stop the thoughts from haunting her.

When a student in Sarahís school is playing and falls into a pit of steaming water and suffers second- and third-degree burns, Sarah is drawn to his pain and gathers the courage to befriend him. Sarah is worried that by making this new friend, the thoughts she has learned to keep at bay will break through her defenses, but the need to help him is greater than the urge to run away. The boyís mother, Mrs. Macintosh, is puzzled by Sarahís bravery and captivated by her unrelenting kindness to her son.

When the elderly next-door neighbor sees little Sarahís ghostlike presence playing outside, it creates a desire in her to protect Sarah. From what she isnít sure, but as she watches her play, something tickles the back of her mind. The death of her husband isnít the only thing that keeps her up at nights. The light on in the basement in the house next door in the small hours of the night puzzle her. These people who were once strangers to Sarahís life find they are now entangled in the web that surrounds her, and together they become determined to break it.

Kate Niles demonstrates the power of a true story weaver in her new book, The Basket Maker. The everyday becomes the uncommon by the end of a sentence, and the reader doesnít see it coming until it hits them hard. The story of Sarah and her new friends teaches readers without preaching how to reach out and begin the healing of the past. Weaving the threads of the tale to a vivid, strong conclusion, she does not disappoint the reader. Kate Niles proves her ability to pull tight the strands of sentences into a story that never unravels. Readers will finish the book wanting more.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Lucinda Tart, 2004

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