Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Review: Miles From Ordinary - Carol Lynch Williams

Where I got it: For review from publisher
Rating: 4.5 stars
Cover Rating: 5 stars (very provocative, I love the style of this cover)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: March 15, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Page Count: 197 p.

 Lacey is only thirteen-years-old but she is the head of her household. Since her mama's daddy died and mam kicked Lacey's aunt out of the house, it's just been the two of them. They had been living off grandaddy's inheritance, but Lacey's mama says that he's been telling her to buy stuff. Lacey sets up a job for her mama so that they can have some money coming in, since soon it will be all gone. Lacey got herself a volunteer job at the library, so that she can have some time to herself. When she leaves work to pick up her mama though, she discovers she hadn't stayed at her own job very long. With the help of an unlikely companion Lacey goes searching for her mom. With a friend by her side Lacey ends up facing many difficult discoveries and revelations.

This is a highly relate-able novel for probably quite a few teens. A parent suffering from a mental condition that all but renders them completely useless to run a household. Lacey's mother has lost her mind since her father passed and when she got a restraining order against her own sister, they had no family left to help. Carol Lynch Williams does an impeccable job getting inside the mind of a thirteen-year-old girl who has had to grow up to take care of her mama. This was entirely heartbreaking all the way to the final words. Lacey's life is not one that you could envy. She is only thirteen and so not able to get a real paying job that would solve more of their problems. Lacey has no friends and no one to talk to at all besides her mom, if her mom is having a good day. I really think this is a great novel for young adults and talks about so very touchy subject matter that probably happens more than we can imagine. Kids often are left taking care of their disabled parents, for fear of going into foster care, or betraying their parent. It's a sad story, but devastatingly realistic and honest. I was a little disappointed by how brief this novel was. There were some issue I wish had been expanded on, like the particulars of her mother's neuroses. We had small glimpses at how bad it was, but until the end nothing seemed too amiss. You certainly got the feeling that she was off her rocker, but there wasn't tons of indications that she was completely gone. Maybe the reason we were left without this is because the narrator is only thirteen and therefore didn't really realize how bad it had gotten. Regardless, I'm dying to read CLW's next novel, even though they make me so sad afterwards.

First Line:
"There are mice." 

Favorite Line:
"The whole room looked fake in the flashlight beam."

1 comment:

  1. Having history with mental health issues, I contributed a lot of her mother's problems to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If you remember what she found when she was pregnant with Lacy and what she had to do. That would definitely cause it. But there were adults that knew the situation and did nothing. The sister was especially delinquent in her duties. She knew how crazy her sister was. I was so angry she let things get to that point. She should have checked on Lacy at school to see if things were okay. Or had a social worker come by. She was incredibly negligent when she knew how bad things were when she left. Sorry to rant but the more this book sits with me, I'm angry that Lacy was left defenseless when people knew she was living with an unstable mother. Her mother was beyond taking care of things by then, the adults let them both down.



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