On an innocent trip to the local bridge, 10-year-old Frame and her brother, Ranger, are shocked to discover a body floating face-down in the river. Haunted by the image of what turns out to be the body of her beloved Uncle Tam, Frame also struggles to deal with the fact that he was murdered.
When their crabby, anti-social neighbour, the McGuire, appears with a dog Frame believes belonged to Uncle Tam, Frame and Ranger decide to begin their own investigation – and to try to rescue the dog, which they believe is being mistreated. As the siblings slowly put the pieces together, they find themselves in danger, and a story neither one of them expected emerges.
The events are related from Frame’s perspective, and her keen observations and heartfelt reactions help develop the suspense of this sad tale. Readers are reminded of Frame’s young age, however, by her decisions to hide the truth from her parents to avoid getting in trouble and her fear of speaking to the police.
Author Joanna M. Weston’s expressive and vivid writing captures moments of beauty in everyday life, and the intricacies of a family of seven living in a small community that has just inexplicably lost a cherished member. Frame and the McGuire is a gentle yet striking novel about the way our perception influences our judgment of others.