I picked up the book because one of its reviews had compared The Shadow Year to Stephen King's The Body and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, two of the greatest novels (and movies).
It is most definitely similar to those books, following the life of an 11 year-old boy, his older brother, Jim, and his little sister, Mary, during what he calls The Shadow Year. A typical boy in 1960's Long Island, he knows all the characters in his town, and his brother even made a detailed model of the town and its inhabitants on a big table in their basement. Mary starts to move the clay figures around the model. When a stranger, Mr. White, comes to town, the first of several clay figures is missing from the board. Only Mary knows where the figure, and the boy whom it represents, has gone. The author touches ever so slightly on the mystical explanations behind these disappearances, which is one of the reasons why I enjoyed the book. It made you wonder, it made you think, and it made me jump at bumps in the night.
Similar genre, but not nearly in the same league as Lee and King. I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong. I was especially intrigued by the relationship the boy had with his siblings, despite their father's absence and their mother's nightly drinking. There were even times when my heart raced because I was truly a little frightened myself. I found the end a little predictable, which took a little of the wind out of my sails, but all in all, an enjoyable read