All Around The Town By Mary Higgins

Clark Essay, Research Paper

Mary Higgins Clark started her writing career writing suspense stories and she hasn’t changed very much since then. All her books are very interesting to read and they will always keep your attention to the end.

All Around the Town was one of the stories written by Mary Higgins Clark. This book was a suspenseful, interesting, intriguing book. It held my interest until the end. The plot was twisty and unpredictable which meant that I would never get bored.

The story takes place in Ridgewood, New Jersey. It takes place from June 1974 to about September 1991. This effects the rest of the story because this is the time period that the main character had her abduction and her multiple personalities started to form.

The main character in this story was Laurie Kenyon, a four year old girl in the beginning of the story who eventually grows up to be a twenty-one year old woman. She has blond hair, green eyes and a fragile little body. Sarah Kenyon is present throughout the story. She is Laurie’s sister and helps Laurie deal with all her problems as best she can. Bic and Opal were Laurie’s abductors. Bic had a beard and his arms had a lot of curly hair. He was a very domineering person towards Opal and Laurie. Opal had long stringy hair and had a plain face. She was passive and did whatever she was told. They were con-artist who fooled everyone they met. They were mean and didn’t care about anybody else but themselves. Justin Donnelly was the psychiatrist who helped Laurie with therapy and helped find the real person that was within her all along.

The story begins when Laurie Kenyon was abducted by Bic and Opal when she was four years old. They abused her sexually and mentally when they had her for those two, long, tedious years. When they were doing these things to her such as sexually abusing her she would place herself in a different state of mind, which over time began to be her altered personalities. She had four main altered personalities which were Leona, the woman in Laurie, Debbie, the baby or woos, Kate, the strong leader of the bunch, and Lee, the little scared shy nine year old boy who helped, in the end, bring all the personalities together as one.

Bic and Opal decided to go find an easy job preaching for the church as a good cover. They stopped at a restaurant and the three of them got out of the car. A woman was watching from inside and recognized Laurie. Bic and Opal realized this and drove off in the car as fast as they could. They knew that if they kept the girl they would eventually get caught so they decided it was time to get rid of her. They dropped her off in front of a school and told her to wait for the kids to come in the morning. They threatened to kill her and made her promise not to tell before they left and then, as she sat and waited all night for the kids to come, drifted off into another personality who floated in the air and made fun of the little girl crying in front of the school.

Years passed and Laurie was returned to her parents on that fateful day in front of the school. Ever since she was taken away Laurie was taught to forget whom her parents and family were. She had a lot of rehabilitation to deal with but her parents decided to not go through with psychological treatment.

Every once in a great while Bic and Opal would check up on Laurie. If they thought she was on the verge of talking to somebody about those two years they would send something to her and threaten to hurt her. Bic and Opal moved from city to city until they found a place to start their religious cover up.

When Laurie and Sarah’s parents died in a car accident, they were left with the decision of what to do with the house. They put the house up for sale and they had an open house for buyers to come look at it. A couple came in and was very interested in the house. It just so turned out that it was Bic and Opal who had changed their names to Reverend Bobby and Carla Hawkins. They had their own TV church service program and were very well off. They knew that the house was Laurie’s old house and they set up electrical devices to snoop and spy on her. They knew that Laurie was seeing Dr. Justin Donnelly about her multiple personality problems and they also knew that the Dr. was trying to find out who her abductors were for those two years.

Dr. Donnelly was married to a young woman who he never saw very much because of her job location. His wife thought that her husband was having an affair with his patient Laurie Kenyon because he was spending so much time with her. One night Dr. Donnelly called his wife and told her that he wanted a divorce. That same night Laurie Kenyon went into one of her altered personalities and decided to go over to Dr. Donnelly’s house to just talk. Along with that same night Dr. Donnelly’s wife came home to also talk to her husband about the divorce. When she saw a woman in the house she went nuts and stabbed her husband to death. Laurie was so scared that she just sat their and when she finally came back to the personality of Laurie she had blood all over her and she was holding a knife. She was charged with murder and was going to be sent to jail until the secretary of Dr. Donnelly’s wife brought some important evidence to the surface. This was the climax of the story. The evidence was critical and changed the whole situation; Mrs. Donnelly was sent to jail where she belongs.

Laurie gets the help she needed and eventually overcomes her personality disorders. They all live happily ever after.

Clark uses realistic techniques to make her fictional books very believable and scary. She uses easy to understand words and explains her ideas very clearly.

The main idea of this story was to tell a story about a girl with multiple personality problems and other psychological problems. It shows the way a psychiatrist has to dig deep to find the root of the problem and it also shows how supportive you need to be to somebody with a problem such as this. My title for this book would be Living in Different Minds. I think that relates more than All Around the Town.

This book was very good because it was very clearly stated which made it enjoyable to read. It presents an idea that could very well happen to anybody. The only part that was hard to understand was when you didn’t have any idea who really killed Dr. Donnelly. I think this book would make a good movie because it is so suspenseful and interesting.

All Around the Town was a very good book to read. I recommend it if you like suspense novels and like to be surprised at the end. It was very well written and it was very realistic. Overall I would have to give it a 10/10!


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