In a dusty trailer park on the far edge of the California dream, Michelina Bellsong contemplates the choices she has made. At twenty-eight, she wants to change the direction of her troubled life but can’t find her way—until a new family settles into the rental trailer next door and she meets the young girl who will lead her on a remarkable quest that will change Micky herself and everything she knows—or thinks she knows—forever.
Despite the brace she must wear on her deformed left leg, and her withered left hand, nine-year-old Leilani Klonk radiates a buoyant and indomitable spirit that inspires Micky. Beneath Leilani’s effervescence, however, Micky comes to sense a quiet desperation that the girl dares not express.
Leilani’s mother is little more than a child herself. And the girl’s stepfather, Preston Maddoc, is educated but threatening. He has moved the family from place to place as he fanatically investigates UFO sightings, striving to make contact, claiming to have had a vision that by Leilani’s tenth birthday aliens will either heal her or take her away to a better life on their world.
Slowly, ever more troubling details emerge in Leilani’s conversations with Micky. Most chilling is Micky’s discovery that Leilani had an older brother, also disabled, who vanished after Maddoc took him into the woods one night and is now “gone to the stars.”
Leilani’s tenth birthday is approaching. Micky is convinced the girl will be dead by that day. While the child-protection bureaucracy gives Micky the runaround, the Maddoc family slips away into the night. Micky sets out across America to track and find them, alone and afraid but for the first time living for something bigger than herself.
She finds herself pitted against an adversary, Preston Maddoc, as fearsome as he is cunning. The passion and disregard for danger with which Micky pursues her quest bring to her side a burned-out detective who joins her on a journey of incredible peril and startling discoveries, a journey through terrible darkness to unexpected light.
I have to type out all the synopsis above as I don't have much else to say about this book.
I really...seriously really wanted to like this book. I used to love books by Dean Koontz years and years ago and I really... seriously really, wanted to like them again but the last few books that I read, I didn't like much so once again, I really, seriously really wanted to like this one. If I have a magic potion to make me like a book, I would use it on this book but I don't and end up not liking it much.
I must admit that the storyline is rather unique and certainly something I have not read before but yet I just wasn't sold on it. There's actually two more characters in the book other than Micky and Leilani about. One of them is Curtis, a little boy who's not a little boy who's on the run with a dog. The other one is Noah, who's a PI and who's sister was a victim of mercy killing. They were only all brought together the last few chapters of the book.
If you are looking for something different, you will certainly find it in One Door Away From Heaven.