Monday, June 29, 2009
Review of Lisette Brodey's Squalor New Mexico
Squalor, New Mexico
By Lisette Brodey
Squalor, New Mexico is a coming of age story which can be read by either young adults or adults. It is written as the memoir of a young girl, Darla McKendrick.
Darla's story begins when she is nine years old. Early in the story, she learns about her Aunt Rebecca. She has never met Aunt Rebecca, but this aunt continues to haunt her throughout the story. Darla's mom, Margaret, and her aunt, Didi, are very close, but there is a dark secret the two of them share. It has to do with Aunt Rebecca.
Darla and her three cousins, April, May, and June, decide to unravel the mystery of Aunt Rebecca. Their mothers, however, thwart their efforts at every turn. Yet, every time Darla gets into trouble, she's compared to Aunt Rebecca. As she becomes a teenager, her parents treat her as though she had become Aunt Rebecca. Of course, she rebels. But, Darla is basically a good kid; she's just searching for her own identity. Enter Victoria, an elderly woman who Darla befriends when she visits a nursing home with her cousin May. Victoria doesn't judge Darla and listens to her problems, offering sage advice that Darla soon realizes is worthwhile.
Darla's remarkable journey from childhood to young adulthood is fraught with hurdles, missteps, and poor judgment. Despite all of this, she finds her own path and harmony for her struggling family.
This is a sensitive story told with compassion and understanding. Be sure to read it through to the end. You'll be as surprised as I was.
You can purchase Squalor, New Mexico at the following site: