Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: March 15, 2011
Source: Received from publisher
About the book: Thirteen-year-old Lacey wakes to a beautiful summer morning excited to begin her new job at the library, just as her mother is supposed to start work at the grocery store. Lacey hopes that her mother's ghosts have finally been laid to rest; after all, she seems so much better these days, and they really do need the money. But as the hours tick by and memories come flooding back, a day full of hope spins terrifyingly out of control....
My Thoughts: Carol Lynch Williams really does an amazing job of writing authentic teenaged girls. Lacey was utterly believeable as a thirteen year old. But she's not your typical teen. She carries a burden that she has done nothing to deserve and that she is not fully equipped to handle... her mother. More specifically, her mother's sickness.
From the beginning of the book it's clear that "Momma" is not stable. Lacey sees caring for her as her job. It's a job that is wearing on her. She loves her mother but she just doesn't want to do it anymore. Her aunt used to help but she left about a year ago and Lacey has been trying to hold her mother together ever since. She's tired of being the care taker instead of being taken care of, tired of worrying about what "Granddaddy" wants, tired of having no friends, of the neighbors talking, tired, tired, tired.
Our story starts here. The book takes place over one day "real time" but Lacey looks back and unravels the downward spiral of her mothers illness. She is scared and confused with no one to guide her. She's mad and she's lonely. In one day all her hopes and plans for herself and her mother seem to blow up in her face.
This book had me very emotionally invested. I was angry at the adults in Lacey's life for not recognizing her need for help. It wasn't always a rational anger but Lacey wasn't at fault and her mother was so sick. I needed SOMEONE to blame! There are a few little rays of hope throughout that I just wanted to protect and nurture. I so badly needed some thing to go right for Lacey! Overall, a well written look at a young girl and her struggle to maintain some semblance of normalcy with a very mentally ill mother.