Twelve-year-old Heidi, homeschooled by her unofficial guardian and neighbor Bernadette, has a mentally disabled mother and only one friend her age. But she doesn’t seem to have the types of problems I would imagine someone in her situation to have. Heidi is obsessed with discovering the mystery of her past. How did she and her child-like mother arrive at Bernadette’s door in an apartment building in Reno, Nevada when Heidi was just one week old? Heidi’s mother, who calls herself “Sobeit,” and whose entire vocabulary is made up of 23 words, doesn’t have any answers. Heidi’s only clue to her mother’s (and her own) past is one mysterious word her mother often repeats: “soof.” When Heidi finds an old roll of film in the back of a closet, she gets a big clue that takes her—alone—on a cross-country journey to find who or what is “soof.”
This book is about identity, asking questions, and living both with and without the answers. Intelligently and sensitively written, at times poetic, this book was a great read. I was drawn to the mystery aspect and couldn’t put it down.