Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blackbird: A Childhood Lost and Found

This week I read Blackbird by Jennifer Lauck. I have to figure out how to get my head around this book and explain how wonderful it was without giving the story away. It's one of those books that weaves through the life of a little girl as she grows up. It starts out with her as a preschooler and ends with her at about twelve years old. The lost and found is literally her childhood. So many things happen to this poor little girl, but she's an old soul and doesn't like to complain. Sometimes she is very childish and when she should complain she clams up out of fear. You really just want to rescue her. But she is a tough cookie and doesn't let anything get her down, no matter how angry and hurt she really is.

You must read this book and follow her journey. The character and the author have the same name, it is a memoir of her real life during this time period. She writes so beautifully that it has none of the boredom of a biography. It's a story, plain and simple told from her childhood perspective during a time of so much upheaval. Her mother has been ill Jenny's entire life, and all Jenny knows is helping her. When things start to go downhill her father moves them all to California where her mother finally dies and I think he feels relief that it's over. She just wants her mother back. Her father remarries, moves them around some more while he works himself to an early grave; leaving her and her brother alone with the evil step mother. It's a heartbreaking story, truly, but you will love this little girl's strength and courage.

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