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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cures for Heartbreak - Margo Rabb

This was a box of kleenex type of book, but really well done. The novel centers around 9th grade girl Mia whose mother was diagnosed with cancer and died just twelve days later. (It's somewhat autobiographical, as the author had a similar experience with her own mother.) This is, of course, heartbreaking and world re-defining, and just as Mia, her sister and her father are beginning to find their way through this new landscape, Mia's father has a heart attack and has to undergo triple bypass surgery. You can imagine how frightening this must be - to have just lost one parent and now to be in danger of losing the other. Poor Mia. Yet this book doesn't make you pity Mia and her sister, you just feel sympathetic. I think this is an important distinction.

Throughout the story Mia is trying to find someone with whom she can share her thoughts and experiences. The things that seem to matter to other girls her age just don't seem to fit, and it is only when she befriends a cancer survivor, who is "kind of cute... despite the baldness and pale skin," that she begins to have someone with whom she truly feels she connects.

This is a sadly sweet story. Lurlene McDaniels fans might branch out here.

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