Rua Richardson To me the theme is not only about parental figures, but about how life truly is what you make it. You can sit around feeling sorry for yourself or you can get up and try to make something of yourself. This book touched my heart, it reminded me of saying my grandfather use to say all the time, "if you throw enough sh*t at the wall something is bound to stick".
Michelle I think Sepetys dealt with how much you are defined by your parents and how much you owe them. She explored parental figures through several characters; Louise, Cookie, Willie, Charlie, and Mr. Lancaster, to name a few.