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Good Graces
Lesley Kagen returns with the sequel to her New York Times bestselling debut, Whistling in the Dark

esley's debut novel, Whistling in the Dark, captivated readers with the story of Sally O'Malley and her sister Troo during Milwaukee's summer of 1959. A New York Times bestseller and Midwest Honor Award winner, the novel remains a popular selection with book clubs.

In Kagen's newest, Good Graces, it's one year later, and a heat wave has everyone in the close-knit Milwaukee neighborhood on edge. None more so than eleven-year-old Sally O'Malley. Deeply traumatized by her daddy's sudden death, and a near escape from a murderer and molester the previous summer, Sally's confidence, sense of security and much of her faith have been whittled away. But as a series of disquieting disturbances unfold—a string of home burglaries, the escape from reform school of a nemesis, and the mysterious disappearance of an orphan—Sally is called upon to rise above her inner demons when she becomes certain that her wild younger sister, Troo, is in danger. Sally made a promise to her daddy to keep her sister safe. A promise she can't break, even if her life depends on it. But when events reach a crisis point, will Sally have the courage to make the right choices? Or will she be overwhelmed by a dilemma that no child should have to deal with?

The author's gift of imbuing her narrators with compelling authenticity shines as never before in Good Graces, an evocative novel told with the sensitivity, wit, and warmth we've come to expect from Lesley Kagen.

Good Graces Read the prologue
Listen to an excerpt
Check out the discussion questions (PDF)
Watch Lesley discuss the book (and other things!)

Buy the book!
Barnes & Noble

Buy the audiobook!
Barnes & Noble

Dutton Adult, Hardcover, (September 2011), ISBN-13: 978-0-525-95238-1
NAL Trade, Paperback, (May 2012), ISBN-13: 978-0-451-23665-4



Selected as a Midwest Connections Pick!

  Check out these READER REVIEWS!

"A...spot on sequel to her bestselling debut, Whistling in the Dark. Kagen does a remarkable job of balancing the goofiness of being an eleven-year-old with the sinister plot points, creating a suspenseful yarn that still retains an air of genuine innocence. Readers who enjoyed the first story are in for a treat."
   —Publishers Weekly

"For all the praise garnered for Whistling in the Dark, Good Graces more than lives up to its predecessor. Teens...will be enchanted by Sally O'Malley."
   —School Library Journal

"Moving, funny, and full of unexpected delights, this is one sequel that just might be even better than the original gem. Kagen crafts a gorgeous pageturner about love, loss and loyalty, all told in the sparkling voices of two extraordinary sisters."
   —Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You

"A beautifully woven story...You will weep for and cheer on the O'Malley sisters... and immediately miss them once the last page is turned."
   —Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and These Hidden Things

"Sequels are frequently a disappointment. Not so with Lesley Kagen's follow up to Whistling in the Dark. Whether you are revisiting the O'Malley sisters or meeting them for the first time, you will not be disappointed."
   —Bayshore Books

"Spend happy hours following the O'Malley sisters through the sweltering summer of 1960 on Milwaukee's West Side. This humorous, passionate novel of childhood is full of evocative local detail and the lives of wild, smart children."
   —Milwaukee Magazine

"Good Graces deftly dwells in '60's Milwaukee. Through her preteen narrator, Sally O'Malley, she (Kagen) evokes the joys, sorrows and complexities of growing up..."
   —The Milwaukee Journal

"Good Graces is filled with sensitivity and wit."
   —Shepherd Express

"In Good Graces the mix of light and dark is rendered with honesty, wit and savvy."
   —The Morton Report