3406 Glacier Hwy.
Juneau, AK 99801
(855) 463-3303 - Toll Free
info@jamhi.org

Family & Relationship Issues
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
12 and HoldingA Lethal InheritanceA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Stir of BonesAlone TogetherAlways On CallAngelsArtemis FowlBad Girls ClubBecoming AnnaBeing the Other OneBoys Will Put You on a Pedestal (So They Can Look Up Your Skirt)Breaking PointCaring for a Child with AutismCaring in Remembered WaysClawsCloserCrispinDaughter of the Queen of ShebaDirty DetailsDivorce PoisonEmpress of the WorldEpilepticEvery Visible ThingFamily FirstFamily TherapyFour CornersFrictionGandhi's WayGeorgia Under WaterGetting over Getting MadGetting the Love You WantGetting the Love You Want Audio CompanionHappiness Sold SeparatelyHope's BoyHow Families Still MatterHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tI Don't Know How She Does ItI Only Say This Because I Love YouImagining RobertInside the American CoupleIt's Love We Don't UnderstandJakarta MissingJumping the ScratchLast Chance SaloonLife's WorkLive Through ThisLove SickLoving Someone With Bipolar DisorderMad HouseMaking Babies, Making FamiliesMaking Sense of SuicideMaking the RunMaking the RunMom's OK, She Just ForgetsMy HeartbeatNecessary NoiseNotes on a ScandalNothing to HideOrgasmsOut of the DustPlanet JanetPop & MeRaising AmericaRay's a LaughRelationship RescueReviving OpheliaRunning with ScissorsSecrets of a Passionate MarriageSomeone Like YouSong for EloiseSpecial SiblingsStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStaying Sane When Your Family Comes to VisitThe Arctic IncidentThe AwakeningThe Bastard on the Couch CDThe Burden of SympathyThe CorrectionsThe CorrectionsThe Dream BearerThe Dulcimer Boy The Einstein SyndromeThe Emotional RevolutionThe Eternity CubeThe Hostile HospitalThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Little FriendThe New I DoThe Normal OneThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Rules of SurvivalThe Same Stuff as StarsThe StepsThe TwitsThe Vile VillageThe Virgin BlueThe Visitation HandbookThe Years of Silence are PastTwistedUltimate JudgementUnderstanding MarriageUnderstanding the Borderline MotherUnhappy TeenagersWastelandWhat Goes UpWhat It Means to Love YouWhat Our Children Teach UsWhen a Parent is DepressedWill You, Won't You?Zazoo
Related Topics

Divorce
Parenting
Life Issues
Elder Care

by Will Weaver
HarperTempest, 2003
Review by Su Terry on May 15th 2003

Claws

Claws by Will Weaver is a well-written novel about the unraveling of a high school junior's charmed life after he discovers that his father is having an affair. A novel filled with many unpredictable twists and turns on its way to detailing the disintegration of an otherwise perfect life.

Clawsis set in contemporary Duluth, Minnesota. As the novel opens, sixteen year old Jed Berg ponders, "Weird though of the Day: "Life could never get better."(p.5) Jed does not know how prophetic his words are. He is smart, athletic, dating a good-looking senior, and has occasional permission to drive his father's 1969 Camaro. His father is a successful architect and his mother is a partner in a major law firm. Everything is perfect until he responds to a note from "a friend" left on his car to meet his girlfriend at a local restaurant. At the restaurant, however, Jed does not meet up with his girlfriend but encounters Gertrude, a "weird girl" with electric pink hair in "goth" clothes. She demands that he stop his father's affair with her mother...or else. Jed wants to write the girl off as a bad joke until she emails him a photograph that convinces him otherwise. As he looks deeper into her claims, he begins to discover more about his father's life than he really wants to know. As his parent's seemingly perfect marriage fall apart, so does his perfect life at school. To reveal too much about the characters and progress of events in this novel would be to lessen the impact of its continual series of shock waves that build to a major ground-shattering conclusion. Wow!

Few of the characters in this book are who and what they appear to be at the outset. At the beginning of this book, everyone appears to be living in a 1950's picture perfect sitcom. Even Jed has bought into the all-American myth of his perfect family. Unfortunately, when the masks are peeled away and the secrets revealed, the story begins to be more like a 1990's perverse soap opera. Jed degenerates, understandably, from "the boy most likely to succeed" to "the boy least likely to graduate." As one character quips, "Preppies in a downward spiral are fun to watch."(p.115)

Will Weaver is a professor of English and Creative Writing at Bemidji State University (Minn.) Weaver has a B.A. from the University of Minnesota and M.A. in creative writing from Stanford University. He is the author of two adult novels entitled, Reed Earth, White Earth (1986) and A Gravestone Made of Wheat (1989). He is also the author of a number of books for young adults including, the Billy Baggs series (Striking Out (1993), Farm Team (1995), and Hard Ball (1998)), Memory Boy (2001), and Claws (2003). All of the Baggs series are ALA Best Books for Young Adults. He is the winner of the McKnight and the Bush Foundations' prizes for fiction.

Claws by Will Weaveris a powerhouse of a novel. The plot twists cannot be outguessed and it ends with a heart stopping bang. Wow! This novel has movie written all over it! The book is recommended for grade 9+, but will definitely hold an adult's interest. I highly recommend this book!