Shannon's Reviews > Up From the Blue

Up From the Blue by Susan  Henderson
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Nov 21, 2010

really liked it
Recommended to Shannon by: Jason
Read in November, 2010

Up from the Blue is a great mix of a book - easy to read, but packed with characters you won't soon forget, a story that will surprise you and scenes that will alternately break your heart and encourage you. The novel's uniquely voiced Tillie is a young girl from a family that is odd, to say the least. Her Air Force colonel father and free spirit mother are a volatile combination, especially when Tillie's mother crosses the line from quirky to mentally ill.

There's a lot to like about Tillie. She is a girl who has hope in her heart, no matter the circumstances life throws her way. And she is a girl who loves and longs for her mother, no matter how imperfect and flawed that mother is. If you've ever wondered how much a girl needs her mother, read this book. If you're a mother yourself, you may, like me end the book feeling both affirmed that you're not as poor a mother as Tillie's mom and challenged to do your best to mother your daughters in a way that meets their needs.

Up from the Blue was a quick read, but left me with lots to think about. How do secrets serve to enable a family to heal on their own versus make a situation even worse by not bringing it into the light? Is it acceptable for one family member's ambition to override the needs of other family members? Does doing the best you can make up for the wounds inevitably left by your failures?

Should you read Up from the Blue? If you like books with characters who stay with you long after you turn the last page, the answer is a resounding yes. If you like to ponder how the structure and unwritten rules of parenting in the 70s has impacted the way we live and parent today, this book will give you food for thought. If your mind shies away from the hard things in life - from family members who fail each other, from friendships gone awry, from people who hurt in ways you can't fix - this is not the book for you. Up from the Blue does not end without hope. But there's a lot of heartache and heartbreak between the covers. In my opinion, this simply makes it a book worth reading. I hope you'll agree.
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