Monday, July 6, 2009

LOVE, AUBREY by Suzanne LaFleur

Aubrey Priestly has eaten the last of the cheese and crackers and finished the juice in the refrigerator. There is nothing left to eat so she takes the birthday money Gram sent and heads to the store. She knows she can buy groceries and take care of herself, but she's worried about what might happen if someone finds out she is eleven and living alone.

Tragedy struck and took Aubrey's sister and father, and now her mother has been gone for days. Aubrey thought it was best to ignore the constantly ringing telephone since she had no idea what to tell any caller that might ask to speak to her mother. However, one afternoon she just couldn't ignore the repeated ringing of the doorbell. When she opened the door, she found Gram standing on the porch.

What follows is Aubrey's concerned grandmother bustling about asking questions about how long she's been alone and then giving instructions about what to pack since Gram was taking Aubrey back with her to Vermont. They ride the train from Virginia to the familiar old house in Vermont. Used to visits only on holidays, it seems strange to be moving in with Gram, but it's a relief to have someone taking care of her again.

Aubrey gradually opens up to her grandmother as the two of them work to adjust to the tremendous changes in their lives. But even with Gram's loving care, a new best friend living right next door and a helpful counselor at her new school, Aubrey finds the most relief when she writes letters to the loved ones now missing from her life.

LOVE, AUBREY is the first novel of Suzanne LaFleur. The story is filled with emotion. The heart-wrenching sadness Aubrey experiences as old memories begin to surface are sure to bring tears to the eyes of even the most jaded reader. LaFleur shows Aubrey dealing with grief and loss as she struggles to understand her feelings and the confusing choices made by her grieving mother. This is a powerful story about love, loss, and healing that goes far beyond its targeted middle grade audience.

No comments: