I am sitting in my reading chair with a steaming cup of chai tea and a slice of freshly baked Date Bread on this dreary, cool, wet Thanksgiving morning, and I’m so thankful for so many things. I’m thankful for the lovely mug my colleagues and friends at my one school gave me on Friday, which was my last day at that school - I’ll be fulltime at my other school beginning tomorrow. I’m thankful to have access to two great public library systems, where I can take out books for free and have access to technology for special projects . I’m thankful that I have the time to read. I’m thankful for both of my bookclubs, and for all the wonderful members. And of course, I’m thankful for this extra day off so I can make some headway into my next bookclub book.
I read an interesting Young Adult novel last week. I must have read a review, because I’ve never heard of this author and it’s not a book I would normally pick up, as it’s set in Florida (I usually only read YA books that are by Canadian authors, are award-winners or nominees, or books that have been made into movies). The Leading Edge of Now by Marci Lyn Curtis is told from the point of view of seventeen-year-old Grace, a young woman who has been in foster care for the past two years following the death of her father. She is now in the custody of her uncle Rusty, and trying to come to terms with a sexual assault that occurred at his home shortly before her father’s death, an assault which she has never disclosed, but which she blames on her then-boyfriend and neighbour, Owen, older brother to her then-best-friend Janna. She has been coping with this by stealing the wallets of men whom she believes are leering at her or giving her unwanted attention. Now she is back in New Harbor and Owen’s and Janna’s family have moved next door, so she is unable to avoid them. She finally confronts Owen but he insists on his innocence, and Grace must consider other suspects, as her uncle had a bunch of workmates over that night to watch a football game, and she was totally out-of-it, as she had taken a sleeping pill to help her get some much-needed rest after an illness. Owen has his own issues to deal with, and Grace and Janna struggle to regain their friendship after so long apart. These stories all tie in together, with the New Harbor beach as a backdrop. I just read the review from Kirkus, and it’s not great, so I don’t know why I put this on hold, but I enjoyed the book. I also had to keep in mind that it is meant for readers between the ages of 14-18, and I think it would appeal to that audience. It deals with difficult subjects in a sensitive and compassionate way, and offers a voice to the many women who do not report sexual assault. The book was able to bring together various themes, such as guilt, loss, friendship, sexuality and self-confidence, in a mostly-believable story with likeable characters, and it wasn’t too long or too short, it seemed just the right length. I would recommend this to teens and adults who are looking for a good story featuring a girl overcoming the most difficult of obstacles to gain self-esteem and reclaim her life.
That’s all for today. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!Bye for now…
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