Sunday 19 February 2017

Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined

Finished February 18
Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined by Danielle Younge-Ullman

This wonderful young adult novel has a strong young woman, Ingrid at the center. The story is told in alternating "then" and "now" sequences, gradually revealing Ingrid's life up until the wilderness trek she is on in the "now" portion.
Ingrid spent her early years travelling with her mother, Margot-Sophia Lalonde, an accomplished opera singer. They had fun together, visiting museums and parks and enjoying each place while they were there. But then Margot's career came to a sudden end, and the two retreated back to Toronto, to the house that Margot inherited from her parents. Ingrid was enrolled in the local school and she tried to adjust to her new life. Margot struggled with depression. It had tough moments, but did show improvement in at least some areas. It wasn't the colourful, glamorous life they's led before, Ingrid made friends and found her niche.
In the now, Ingrid has been enrolled by her mother in a wilderness camping trip as the price of going to the school of her choice for her final year of high school. Ingrid's choices aren't the ones her mother would make for her, but Ingrid has determination and knows that this is what she wants. But the camping trip is rougher than what Ingrid was led to believe, and her companions on the trek are all working through their own issues. During this three weeks, Ingrid will have to find inner as well as outer strength beyond what she thought she had.
This is a story of families, of how we treat those around us, of depression, and of resilience. It is a story of finding the beautiful that remains even when tragedy strikes. I loved it.

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