Right Where You Left Me

Calla Devlin. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4814-8699-6
Seventeen-year-old Lottie Lang has always felt that her globetrotting, disaster-chasing journalist father, Jeremiah, is the glue keeping her family together. Her mother, Valentina, never seemed to recover from the death of her first child, Lena, at 11 months, or from the stroke she had while giving birth to Lottie. When Jeremiah is kidnapped by extremists in Ukraine, Lottie believes that she may lose her mother to depression. Devlin (Tell Me Something Real) relies heavily on Russian folklore to give Lottie an uncommonly mature perspective (“She worries I was born with a curse, that I was born a potercha, the troubled spirit of a dead child.... I wonder if she’s Umershey Materi. The Dead Mother”). Jeremiah’s kidnapping is the catalyst that allows Lottie and her mother to finally have a frank conversation about their relationship: Lottie spent her childhood believing she was a consolation prize for Lena, while Valentina tried desperately not to hold her child too close. Though the initial setup is fraught with potential problems, Devlin carefully orchestrates the plot so the pieces fall together almost too perfectly. Ages 14–up. Agent: Faye Bender, Book Group (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/24/2017
Release date: 09/05/2017
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 978-1-4814-8700-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-5414-5807-9
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