Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sure Signs of Crazy

Sarah's life is ruled by one event in her past.  When she was little, her mother tried to drown her and her twin brother.  Simon died, Sarah survived, and following trials for both of her parents became media sensations.

It would be nearly impossible to put something like that behind you anyway, but the media dredges the story up every few years, and Sarah's father uproots their lives to move to a new city.  This means they always live in a rent house, Sarah's always the new girl, and she's always ready to pack up and go at the first sign that her mother's story is coming back.

To make things worse, Sarah is worried that her mother's crazy is hereditary, so she's always examining herself for signs of it.  Her father is an alcoholic who drinks until he passes out pretty much every night and on the weekends.

Sarah has always tried to hide her true feelings until her language arts teacher gives her an assignment to write over the summer, suggesting the students start by writing to their favorite characters.  Sarah writes a series of letters to Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, and this is when she starts to be honest with herself, and she even writes all the things she wishes she could say to her father.

Sarah thought Garland was the armpit of Texas, but as the summer progresses, she will find new friends and start to make her peace with herself and her mother.

I loved Karen Harrington's new book!  It is heartbreaking but funny, and, of course, I appreciate Sarah's fascination with words.  This is a must read!

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