The title of this story by T. C. Boyle refers to a dog of that name and the story of its adventure that Angelle’s father read to her when she was younger.  The story opens with Angelle being primed by her father’s lawyer, though the reader is not yet privy to the information surrounding the situation.  But there is groundwork laid.

Angelle lives with her father and younger sister, and there is a housekeeper and nanny.  Her mother is in France, and eventually we get the picture that she is not coming back.  Her father has a drinking problem and a girlfriend, and combined, these two elements result in a car accident which requires that Angelle lie to protect her father and her family.

The tension is created from the opening scene between the young girl and the lawyer, and continues through the play-out of the father’s afternoon spent with his lover.  We realize he’s drinking excessively and gets in his car to pick up his daughters from school.

There is manipulation of the lawyer and the father on Angelle, and there is an interesting twist as Angelle makes the final decision.

Very nicely done.

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3 Responses to LITERATURE: BASS 2007 – Balto

  1. Lisa Kenney says:

    I like T.C. Boyle a lot. I’ve got the BASS for this year and haven’t dug into it yet. Maybe I’ll start with this one…sounds good.

  2. susan says:

    You’ll like this one then. It’s probably the best story I’ve read here so far. I’ll have to look up more TC Boyle.

  3. Lisa Kenney says:

    I read a novel of his called “The Tortilla Curtain” a few years ago and I really liked it.

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