Lori Anaple's Reviews > Asta in the Wings

Asta in the Wings by Jan Elizabeth Watson
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's review
Jun 30, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, contemp-lit, lets-fuck-up-a-family

If you read Room, read this.

The story is told from the perspective of Asta, a 7 year old girl. It is told in a retrospective manner in which she has had the time to process everything that has happened. That is the only thing I really don't like. I didn't get that feel of immediency or complete bafflement. And I wanted that. I also wanted other things finished....like the upstairs tenant.

The first 100 or so pages were the best for me. The recollections of Asta, Orion, and Mother in their home. Mother worked and the kids went outside NEVER! Mother told them that there was a plaque and people were dying off and being piled up outside. As crazy cakes as that is, these kids were happy. Even in the retelling of the story Asta is not bitter or angry. And Mother might be a nutjob, but she is a very caring and protective mother. She might have limitations on them on the quantity of food eaten per day, and the love of them being so thin and not to mention that she is crazy. But she also educates them in such a way that they are way ahead scholastically of other children their age. She encourages their use of imagination and genuinely loves them.

Mother goes missing one evening. The kids get worried. They manage to get out of the house (no small feat considering Mother locks them in when she leaves for work every day) and goes searching for them. The rest of the book is about how they assimilate into the everyday world.

This is a charming book.

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