21 April 2011

Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams

Flap Copy from ARC: "Thirteen-year-old Lacey wakes to a beautiful summer morning excited to begin her new job at the library, just as her mother is set to start work at the local grocery store. Lacey hopes that her mother's ghosts have finally been laid to rest; after all, she seems so much better these days, and they really do need the money. But as the hours tick by and memories come flooding back, a day full of hope spins terrifyingly out of control ..."

I loved Carol Lynch Williams' 'The Chosen One' when I read it a couple of years ago - 'Miles from Ordinary' certainly rose to the challenge of meeting and exceeding my expectations for Williams' next work. At the start of the book, thirteen-year-old Lacey has very reasonable hopes for her summer - jobs for herself and for her mom, and the chance to make a real friend for herself, someone who might share and understand her life. The book chronicles one day, from hopeful morning through to desperate and tragic evening, and captures with haunting realism the desperation Lacey feels when her mother disappears and her day - and life - fall apart.

Williams has a real knack for writing adolescence with honesty and tenderness - Lacey is a well-developed, nuanced character and I acutely felt her pain and distress through Williams' prose. I highly recommend this book, for YA and mature readers alike - 5 stars!

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