Squalor, New Mexico
My own life is about overcoming obstacles. While my book, Thank My Lucky Scars, chronicles the real-life hurdles I have faced w ...more
I'm partial to memoir. The first person telling, especially from a young person's POV, can be difficult to pull off in a believable way in a novel. Squalor, New Mexico, however, is an example of how to do it well.
In this tale, Lisette Brodey has created a narrator who is so endearing that her telling and revelations within the book feel like genuine (albeit innocent) confession; it is as though she exists and is teasing out the secrets of the adults aro ...more
As Darla matures she seeks more answers on her mysterious Aunt, who seems to profoundly affect her entire family. As truths are revealed, more secrets awai ...more
This book has gr ...more
The tale is told with such amazing realism, candour and delightful wit infused throughout. With skilfully developed characters, we are taken on a journey of family secrets, lies and betrayal. I was totally captivated as the story advanc ...more
If you've read Lisette Brodey's "Crooked Moon," you know the good writing and reading treat you're in for. At the same time, "Squalor New Mexico" is a very different kind of story.
Told from the point of view of a young girl growing up, the story is delightful, sometimes making you feel the hurt, confusion, and anguish of growing up, and leading us to unexpected revelations. Oh, and don't make the mistake of thinking Squalor is a place in the American Southwest.
Not my usual fare -- I'm more often ...more
It shows a complexity of emotions, while delving into the depth of emotional upheaval that puberty brings, made worse by a disfunctional family life.
Darla is time after time brought into the dark little family secret, while being told lies and half-truths which only serve to confuse and make her even more curious.
I loved this ...more
To sum it up - I love the book and highly recommend it to everyone. Don't be misled by the YA label some have added to it. I found it to be a mystery novel that was as gripping and intense as some other authors whose books have been made into movies. In fact, Squalor, New Mexico would make a great movie!
Remember those humiliating moments during childhood and adolescence when making a public mistake? Or when someone outside the family has been subjected to the dorkiness that is your parents? If so, you'll have an idea of what it's like to be Darla McKendrick, who is easily embarrassed by her father's cliches and suffered a major humiliation because of a lie told to her by Aunt Didi when she first learned of an aunt she'd never met -- Rebecca.
As Squalor, New Mexico opens, nine-year-old Darla ove...more
Saberlee Books|June 11, 2009|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-9815836-1-7
Darla McKendrick is nine when she first hears her mother and her aunt Didi secretly discussing their younger sister, Rebecca, speculating about her life in squalor. From the moment Darla asks to know more about her mysterious aunt, she is offered nothing but half-truths, distortions, and evasions. As Darla grows into her teen years, her life is oddly yet profoundly affected by this woman she has never known. Sh ...more
I enjoyed this story about a family secret that captures the imagination of Darla, her cousins, and her best frien ...more
When I first read the summary of the book, I was curious to see just how far the family secrets can stem back into the past. We lear ...more
As Squalor, New Mexico opens, nine-year-old Darla over ...more
Squalor, New Mexico is outstanding – a class act story from beginning to end. A masterfully crafted coming-of-age story, my read not only catapulted me immediately into Darla’s world but also, plunged me deeply into memories of my own formative years. Although Squalor is purported by some to be a novel for young adult readers, there is a tonal quality of exceptional maturity to the story that resonates throughout. I highly recommend it for ad ...more
The story is very current and relevant for today's issues, even though it is set in the 70's. There are many situations that Darla McKendrick faced that I encountered as a child and that my own children may face. It was very interesting to be able to look at these issues as an adult but also relate as a teenager.
It also highlighted the fact that we should always try to be as open and honest with our children when asked questions. Having to deal with the answers the ...more
This is a wonderful family drama that is filled with love, hurt, humor and healing. The truth that allows healing is a painful lesson: we are only as sick as our secrets. When those secrets are exposed they no longer have the power to rule our lives. Ms Brodey is a gifted writer who was able to keep me interested as the story unfolds and the family secrets are revealed.
There is so much more in this book than just the mystery about Rebecca. I really enjoyed Darla's friendships with he ...more
Once I got over that disappointment, I found myself lured into a family drama told from the perspective of a young girl moving into her teenage years. It's not my normal genre, but I have to admit it had me turning the pages and wanting to find out how it all worked out. I gave it 4 stars a little sheepishly.
Families can be complex and have secrets and none more so than Darla’s. I was delighted as I shared Darla’s journey through her teen years and the eventual solving of her family’s big secret.
Touching and funny the book is well written and will delight readers of all ages. Highly recommend.