Thursday, 8 January 2009

Teen Novel of interest to Adults

Finished January 8
Outside Beauty by Cynthia Kadohata
This story is told from the point of view of Shelby, a young teen. Shelby and her sisters, Marilyn, Lakey and Maddie all live with their mother. The girls all have different fathers, and their mother is always going out with different men. When their mother ends up in the hospital, the girls end up farmed out to their individual fathers and are heartbroken. They are eager to reunite and find a dramatic way to do so.
Shelby is the bookworm of the family, and observant of the people around her. As she describes her sisters and the fathers, you get a real sense of the personalities behind the exteriors. The girls are generally well-behaved and respectful, but there are limits to what they are willing to go along with. Shelby is insightful about the situations they end up in and manages to connect to her own father in a way that she didn't expect.
This is an interesting story, and one I will recommend.

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