Miz Moffatt's Reviews > Where We Have to Go

Where We Have to Go by Lauren Kirshner
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's review
Oct 27, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: canadian, coming-of-age, literary-fiction, favorites

Where We Have To Go sparkles in its sad revelations on the life of one young girl stuck in one dysfunctional family. Lauren Kirshner marks her debut with a fine-tuned novel filled with ample quirk, a touch of spunk, and a whole lot of tragic circumstances. As the novel opens, the eleven-year-old Lucy dreams of freedom in the shape of a bicycle. Her vision dissipates when she receives a pair of second-hand roller skates for her birthday, and when she becomes conscious of her parents' marital troubles. Lucy then embarks on an odyssey toward adulthood, an adventure riddled with toxic friendships, anorexia, and anxieties connected to her changing environment. Even as she wades through her own confusion, Lucy maintains her charm and presses on.

Set in Toronto in the nineties, the novel invites young readers to re-live their past through a literary lens. Kirshner adds delightful touches of pop culture to her text, most notably in little Lucy's admiration of ALF. Sweet, complicated, and entirely addictive -- finish the novel in one sitting, then repeat.

Ideal for: Toronto high schoolers needing proof of literature's relevancy; Twenty-somethings needing a hit of nostalgia; Coming-of-age junkies.


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