The Blurry Years

Eleanor Kriseman. Two Dollar Radio (PGW, dist.), $15.99 trade paper (162p) ISBN 978-1-937512-71-2
Kriseman’s assured and affecting debut follows Callie from young childhood through her itinerant teenage years as she and her unpredictable, alcoholic mother, Jeanie, constantly attempt to restart and better their lives. In Tampa, Callie shifts loyalties between her mother’s changing boyfriends and finds a lovable, stable adult in one of their brothers, Marcus, a person she will return to for comfort throughout her life. In Eugene, Ore., where Jeanie is originally from, after a desperate cross-country drive and nights spent sleeping in the car in parking lots, Callie and her mother reconnect with Jeanie’s former best friend, Starr. And in Daytona Beach, Callie and her first real friend explore the darker side of the tourist town, trying on adulthood for the first time just as Callie’s adolescence begins to look darkly and familiarly like her mother’s life (depending on alcohol to get through her days and taking bad jobs instead of focusing on school), and she attempts to finally break out of the pattern of running she has always known. The novel’s complicated mother/daughter relationship is provocative and richly developed, and Jeanie is an unforgettable, complex character: she starts the novel as difficult-but-loving but evolves into deep cruelty. Despite its too-neat ending, Callie’s is an honest and memorable story about growing up in a world of bad examples. Kriseman’s is a new voice to celebrate. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2018
Release date: 07/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X