This is a copy, with the HTML restored as much as possible, of my A Fuse #8 Production, which is well worth reading. I have only two things I'd love tThis is a copy, with the HTML restored as much as possible, of my A Fuse #8 Production, which is well worth reading. I have only two things I'd love to chat about with Fuse: one is the description of Addie's mother as a 'selfish, self-centered nutjob'. I know what she means, but still. The other is a slight spoiler, so stop now if you don't want to read it. I doubt it'll be a huge surprise, though you may hope against hope, as I did, that it wouldn't happen. The pet doesn't get it, which is delightfully against generic expectations, I agree - but Soula does. And I know many kids are infinitely more able for tragedy than I am, but I did worry that the combination of mother as mentally ill and totally unable to provide support for Addie, and newly-found mother-substitute dying, was a hell of a double-whammy. Especially for the many kids in the world who don't have anything like the wonderful Dwight to provide when the mother(s) are lost. (I've thought about it quite a bit, and want to say straight out that this is not me trying to suggest that the book is misogynistic in any way. It's not. ) (Oh, third thing - I love the cover.) Hannah was great on paper, but somehow was never as alive for me as Soula or Addie or Elliot or Dwight.
The obvious books to compare are Hilary McKay's Casson family books. But though I really think Waiting for Normal is wonderful and would recommend it to any other adult readers of children's books, I would be much more inclined to recommend Hilary McKay to a child than Waiting for Normal. Both have unstable families, and vulnerable people of all ages. Both have happy endings, which are really feel-good in the best sense. But something about the end of Forever Rose made me feel safer. I'm still not totally sure why, but think it has something to do with the way the ending was won through to by a complex weaving together of a lot of many kinds of behaviour by all the characters: selfishness, loyalty, love, neglect, avoidance, stubbornness, giving... In Waiting for Normal, it seems more a case of luck, in a funny way. Not that Addie doesn't deserve to be loved and taken care of, but every child does that, and somehow the mostly-happy ending left me thinking a little of all those who don't get it....more
This is actually a reread, as I read this when it came out. Penderwicks 4 was in my bracket in the YA and MG Book Battle, so I reread them all. Such aThis is actually a reread, as I read this when it came out. Penderwicks 4 was in my bracket in the YA and MG Book Battle, so I reread them all. Such a hardship. ...more
Again, a reread for the 2016 Book Battle. Here's what I wrote in my notebook:
Again, I don't think Birdsall quite nails what Hilary McKay does - IantheAgain, a reread for the 2016 Book Battle. Here's what I wrote in my notebook:
Again, I don't think Birdsall quite nails what Hilary McKay does - Ianthe is too perfect; Jane too self-absorbed to care so much about 'the family honor', and Rosalind way too maternally responsible. But still lovely and 'Marianne doesn't like flannel' cracks me up....more