Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Overcoming family ties



Does everyone have a family skeleton? Clare’s is visible, at least to her.  He’s been a part of her life since she was six.  She doesn’t like to think about him, and there are a few places he won’t show up, but he’s with her most of the time. Clare learning to live with, and from, a family skeleton, forms the bones of this book. She learns to be strong, make decisions for herself, separate from her family, and advocate for herself. I really like this as a strong coming of age novel. Close reading is needed as the books switches between the past and the present, but it’s labeled in the chapter headings. 


As for the plot, some of it is a mystery, such as why Luke, her oldest brother, isn’t home most of the time.  Clare loves him, writes to him, and saves the letters he writes back.  She knows most of the town’s people don’t like him, and her other brother, Peter, is afraid of him, but when Luke is around, he takes care of her. All she knows is “He was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” according to her mother.  But how can that happen so often? And why does it feel like Mother will choose Luke over her other children? 






Joy is living with her aunt and uncle after being rescued from her abusive mother.  This is the story of Joy’s journey of self discovery, finding a new normal, and learning to live with less fear.
She’ll move forward and slide back, but it’s about hope and finding a future.  

I have an audience for this book in my library.  I’m pretty sure I have bought a new copy of A Child Called It almost every year I’ve been a librarian.  I think it’s a case of living vicariously through fiction.  No matter how bad you think your life it, reading about someone’s whose is life is worse is freeing, somehow.  Learning that they have lived through it gives hope.