Sunday, March 27, 2011

MILES FROM ORDINARY by Carol Lynch Williams

Having read and enjoyed THE CHOSEN by Carol Lynch Williams, I was happy to see she had written a new book.  Now that I've read MILES FROM ORDINARY, I'm looking forward to her next book, and I'm also curious to see if she includes a library/bookmobile concept again.  Interesting that both her books have a sort of hero/heroine involved with the library.  I like it.

For as long as she can remember, Lacey has known that something is not right with her mother.  Grandfather died the day Lacey was born, but she has grown up hearing about his ghost which supposedly gives ongoing advice to her mother. 

When Lacey heard news in her classroom about the attack on the World Trade Center, she immediately knew she should go home to take care of her mother.  She knew her mother would fixate on the tragedy and "listen" to the advice of her dead father, thinking she needed to prepare for the worst. 

Things like the terrorist attack or a recent tornado, flood, or hurricane are the reason Lacey's mother's bedroom is crammed with canned goods, toilet paper, and other survival supplies, and it's the reason why the windows are always closed and locked and why her mother only leaves the house to go to the grocery store.

It's been a year since Lacey's mother demanded that her sister, Lacey's Aunt Linda, leave the family home.  That left Lacey alone to take care of her mental ill mother.  Recently, things have seemed a bit better so Lacey encouraged her mother to apply for a job at the local Winn-Dixie, and Lacey herself was able to get a part-time job at the library.  Hoping the grocery store job would give her mother the needed confidence to get out of the house, the two jobs would also give Lacey a chance to get away as well.  But it only takes one day for everything positive to fall apart.

MILES FROM ORDINARY is the story of a young girl's struggle to deal with the responsibility of caring for her mentally ill mother.  Lacey's life is filled with constant memories of a past made up of her mother's crazy actions and irrational behavior.  Feeling abandoned by her aunt, Lacey is becoming resentful of this huge responsibility and unable to imagine any kind of future for herself.  Readers will be quickly drawn into Lacey's world, and if they are like me, they will turn each page hoping that Lacey can survive long enough to make a life for herself.

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