Janet's Reviews > Born Blue

Born Blue by Han Nolan
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May 25, 12

bookshelves: young-adult
Read from May 16 to 25, 2012

Han Nolan is a master of getting inside the different flavors of pain and showing you what it's like to live there. Janie, who renames herself Leshaya, is a heroin addict's daughter who lives in a series of households - foster homes, drug dealers, couch-crashing - but never has a home. She never learns how to speak conventional English, how to be considerate of others, or how to control her instinct to lash out, out of jealousy and rage, in self-destructive ways. She can't comprehend what her foster brother means when he tells her she has to "be in society." Yet you can't help but admire how Leshaya clings fiercely to her few moments of joy, especially her love of "the ladies" of blues and to the release of singing. Nolan doesn't condone or excuse Leshaya's selfishness and the disasters she falls into or creates herself, but he helped me to understand why she is the way she is. My husband and I are considering becoming foster parents. This novel helped me to 'get it' better than many of the non-fiction, research books that I've read.
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