Mar 21, 11
Read from March 17 to 21, 2011
** spoiler alert **
Wow. Where to begin with my review of this book? It is very well written, so descriptive in parts that I could visualize the scenes and people she was describing. The premise of this gifted girl, gifted in a more surreal way, could have been cheesy and poorly done, but it's not. The author makes it very believable. I was extremely impressed in this story as a first book for the author.
My friend's sister wrote this book and my friend has chosen it for book club this month. I'm excited to see in a few days what everyone else thought of it. It's a fast read, just over 200 pages, and it really kept me engrossed the entire way through the book. Many times I would rather have been reading this book and had to force myself to put it down to do other things. Until this morning, when I just stayed in bed to finish it, only to be sobbing through the last 2 chapters.
The ending is tragic and hints are in the book leading up to it, but, in my opinion, very well hidden. I did wonder where the letter from the great-aunt went and wondered if we are meant NOT to know because something tragic also happened to more of Anna's birth family or maybe not. I would love to ask the author. The author does say in the acknowledgements (and we were also told by her sister-in-law) that it was inspired by tragic events of people she knows. It's not their story at all; what happened to them just got her thinking and then eventually led to this book. I'd like to know more about that back story as well.
The story isn't just about gifted Anna either. It's about the strong friendship that develops early on between Kelsey, who's from a sad background and really struggles at home. Along with the struggles Anna's parents face dealing with Anna's gifts (the story is told from Susan, Anna's mom's, perspective), the story really comes to be more about that friendship and what comes of it.
Again, a very well-written book, especially as a first book. It's thought provoking and touching. It's very clean and, while definitely has hints of the LDS faith, is a great read for people of other faiths without making them feel (in my opinion) like they need to be LDS to understand the book. Very good read. I highly recommend it.