Sunday 2 July 2017

We Are Okay

Finished July 2
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

This teen novel has a character who is very alone. Marin is in her first year of college in a small private college on the East Coast of the US. She grew up in California, near San Francisco, and lived with her grandfather, who she calls Gramps. Marin's mother died following a surfing accident when Marin was only 3, and she's a strong reader, with a good sense of seeing different explanations for things. When Marin was starting high school, she became close friends with Mabel, another girl from her school. Mabel lives with her parents Ana and Javier, with her older brother Carlos away at college. She's going to college closer to home, in Los Angeles.
As the story progresses, we learn about Marin's situation, and how it was living with Gramps, with their separate spaces, with his letters to a woman named Birdie in Colorado, with his poker nights with his friends. She remembers a time when she was younger, and stayed with one of those friends and his family, Jones. Jones' daughter Samantha took her to school while she was there, during a hospital stay for Gramps.
We learn about the intricacies of the relationship between the two young women, and about the seashells her mother's friends gave her at the beach. We learn about why she feels alone, and why she feels like everything she knew was not true, not really.
This is a story of a young woman forced to face difficult knowledge very suddenly. It is about fear, and embarrassment, and loneliness. And it is about friends, and family and how things continue to evolve. A great read.

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