Melissa's Reviews > Birthday Girl: a Novel

Birthday Girl by Diane J. Wright
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Jan 22, 10

Read from January 19 to 22, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Excerpt:
Sixteen-year-old Tracey Burns has been confined to a single room for two years. One night, amid chaotic spring winds, she slips to freedom and inadvertently sets herself on a journey that takes her further away from the one thing she wants most: to find the mother who left her behind.

Determined but starkly naïve, Tracey plunges into a harsh and confusing world where she is no more than a headline, a case file, another ragged face on the side of the California highway asking for change. It's only when she stumbles upon an enclave of irrepressible epicureans tucked in the flatlands of the Mojave that she begins to uncover the truth of her world, of herself, and of [close:]
her missing mother.


I wish i could give half of stars because i would give this book 3 1/2 stars.

The book follows Tracey a 16/17 year old girl who has been locked up in a single room at her father's house for two years. One night she escapes and runs to an old friends house and this is where our story begins. Tracey to say is emotionally stunted. She has been waiting patiently for two years for a mother that was supposed to come for her. She is in a way a little girl in an young adult's body. Merely wishing only for her mother. She is eventually sent to two foster homes where she suffers a variety of experiences. It's at the second foster home that she meets Frankie her boyfriend and first best friend. The story takes a turn when Frankie convinces her to go on a ride with him. They end up driving half way to Los Vegas before he drops her off at a bus station so she can make it back to the foster home in time. Tracey gets her money stolen there and is nearly rapped when she innocently accepts a ride from a woman she thought could be trusted. She runs away and ends up walking all night and eventually finds herself at Monroe's gas station. It is here that things start to turn well for Tracey. Monroe befriends her and arranges for her to stay with Eve and Catherine; sisters who run a Inn or rather spa nearby. Tracey lives there happily and eventually Frankie finds her after he spent months looking for her. She stays on and Frankie comes to visit her every weekend. While living and helping around the Inn and gas station Tracey starts to open up and live. She also discovers a passion for cooking.

On her 18th birthday Tracey gets biggest wish and that is Catherine, Eve, Monroe and his jackass boyfriend found her mother Adele. Tracey finds Adele in the kitchen at the Inn, but things arn't as Tracey remembers. In fact Adele is very different from how she remembers. After a rather horrid day spent with Adele Eve consuls Tracey and tells her that her family is whom she makes them. The book ends with Tracey realizing that her mother is her own person and really has only cared about herself. That Eve, Catherine, Monroe, and Frankie is her family.

This book was slow at times, but was a rather good read. You really feel for Tracey's innocence that was lost and was rooting for something nice to happen to her. That niceness came in the form of Eve, Catherine,and Monroe. There was a few times in the story that i really wanted Tracey to dump Frankie, but he came through in the end. The only thing the book was missing for me was Eve, Catherine, and Monroe's reaction to being locked up for two years. I really would have liked to have known what they thought.

Good read overall.
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01/19/2010 page 67
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