This book has been keeping me up past my bedtime! I may have stayed up until 1am last night, attempting to finish. That’s always the sign of a good book for me.
She read it at twelve. I wish I had. I would have identified with Francie Nolan, the awkward bookworm who didn’t understand boys and who spent more time with adults than kids, so much more than those beautiful and inexplicably outcast heroines in dumb YA horror novels I read at a daily pace, who taught me nothing except that if you’re pretty enough you’ll most likely get the guy AND defeat the bad guy.
But since it didn’t Change My Life when I was twelve, what can I get from it now?
I appreciated that it was a story about ostensibly ugly things which are beautiful through the eyes of Francie. I appreciated the strong support network of the Nolan family, and the many examples of how well they cared for each other. I appreciated its brutal honesty about the weaknesses of the adults, which allowed the reader to – through Francie – understand and appreciate their strengths.
It was a story about finding hope in the midst of dark, difficult times. And that’s never a bad story tell.
But, y’all, I was a little pissed she didn’t get a chance to go back and yell at that dumb teacher who called her stories bad! I must have an over-developed sense of literary vengeance.