A year after her mother's death, sixteen-year-old Sidonie still spends sleepless nights playing cards with her cat, Bogie. During the day she lies around and reads under the nose of her nineteen-year-old sister, Roberta, who angrily scrubs floors that are already clean and cooks meals that are inedible. Their father, a doctor, comes home when he is too exhausted to remain at work. Only the jazz piano-playing of Roberta's new boyfriend, Phil, brings some relief to the long hot summer.
Then Kieran, an angry sixteen-year-old stranger, comes to their lakeside community. Sidonie discovers that he isn't easy to ignore, and in the weeks that follow, her growing attraction to him is accompanied by more frequent, powerful memories of her mother.
Martha Brooks is an award-winning novelist, playwright and jazz singer whose books have been published in Spain, Italy, Japan, Denmark, England, Germany and Australia, as well as in Canada and the United States. She is a three-time winner of the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book of the Year, as well as the Ruth Schwartz Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Governor General’s Award, and the Vicky Metcalf Award for her body of work. She lives in Winnipeg.
The writing is sensitive and believable, the characterizations absorbing, the voice strong.
A book that belongs on the shelf with the few but essential novels that are both intelligently written and appealing to YA audiences.
The pages fly by quickly because the people, their struggles and their strengths hold your interest. This is a very successful treatment of a challenging theme.
...[Brooks] approaches life's events, both large and small, with intelligence, patience and remarkable insight.