Miles from Ordinary

Carol Lynch Williams, St. Martin's Griffin, $16.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-312-55512-2
It was always Aunt Linda who saved the day whenever Lacey's mentally ill mother had a bad spell. Now that Linda's moved away, it's up to Lacey to keep things on an even keel and find a way to save the family from financial ruin. The 13-year-old narrator gains hope when her mother takes a job as a grocery cashier, but her mother's first day of work at Winn-Dixie becomes a nightmare after Lacey discovers her mother has walked away from her job. In a novel spanning a mere 24 hours, Williams (The Chosen One) takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride as she traces Lacey's memories of childhood traumas, her desperate attempt to locate her mother, and the depths of her mother's sickness. Poignant moments expressing the heroine's yearning for an ordinary life are never far from images of unleashed violence, family feuds, and paranoia. The unfolding of details of Lacey's home life and her anxieties create a suffocating atmosphere; the climax (which brings to mind Norman Bates and Baby Jane) may be too disturbing for some. This is tautly written psychological horror. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/17/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Paperback - 198 pages - 978-1-250-00260-0
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4299-6658-0
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