Fixing Delilah

Sarah Ockler, Author
Sarah Ockler, Little, Brown, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-05209-2
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 12/01/2010
Open Ebook - 978-0-316-12915-2
Paperback - 308 pages - 978-0-316-05208-5
Hardcover - 152 pages - 978-0-316-17465-7
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-76745-3
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Delilah Hannaford's grandmother was estranged from her daughters for eight years, but when she dies, 16-year-old Delilah, her workaholic mother, and her tarot-reading aunt spend the summer at the family lake house, tying up loose ends with her estate—and within their family. Well-written and ambitious, Ockler's (Twenty Boy Summer) book is a bit overstuffed with secrets: what exactly happened eight years ago? why doesn't anyone talk about her mother's youngest sister, who died as a teenager? Delilah even learns that her father is not who she thought he was. Readers may have a hard time knowing where to focus, especially when a romance with a long-lost childhood friend is mixed in, plus Delilah's strained relationship with her mother and the discovery of her dead aunt's secret diary. Even so, Delilah's gradual acceptance of her family's complicated history feels authentic, as does her growing ability to recognize her own flawed coping mechanisms. Readers will appreciate her honest assessment that while the Hannaford women cannot fix all past hurts, "some of them can be repaired, piece by piece, rebuilt into something even more cherished and loved and unique." Ages 12–up. (Dec.)
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