- USD 11.99
We sat at the kitchen table, across from each other. In the same spots we sat for dinner up till a month ago. The shadows on the table looked like prison bars again. This time it was Star being caged. Star, who thought leaving made her free. That life would be all hunky-dory shampooing heads and sweeping floors while Mama got slapped around-far enough away so she wouldn't have to hear the screams.
That's when I knew for sure-I couldn't leave Mama. And Star couldn't make me any more than I could make her stay.
A painfully beautiful novel that exposes the haunting world of spousal abuse
Blue's family is coming apart at the seams. After Pa drowned in the river, Mama up and married Jinx, whom Blue and Star know is big trouble. And now Star has run away, leaving Blue behind. It was hard enough to watch Mama get knocked around when Jinx was in one of his "moods," but now, with Star gone, Jinx has spun out of control. It's up to Blue to find Star and get help for Mama, to piece the family back together again. But Blue is running out of time.
With biting realism and poignancy, this compelling young-adult novel explores Blue's struggle to protect her family and stand up against what she knows is wrong.
Kwasney's debut novel sensitively and perceptively takes a familiar YA theme and gives it heart: a spunky but frightened preadolescent girl must gather enough courage to help save her mother from an abusive husband. It's a hot and humid summer in rural Massachusetts in 1976, a time of tie-dyed skirts and Frye boots, and 12-year-old Blue, the narrator, is coping with her naively hopeful mother, Ceil, a waitress, and her temperamental and violent stepfather, Jinx. Blue misses her Pa, who drowned when he tried to save a boy, and blames herself for begging Pa to have a picnic along the river that day. Now she has also lost her older sister, Star, who refuses to live in the same house as Jinx. Blue first schemes to get Star back, then, in a tense climax, breaks down a door and jumps on Jinx to stop him from beating Ceil, imagining herself to have the strength of a "lion on the edge." The author's eye for detail and sense of place firmly ground the story. Blue's refusal to accept her mother's deluded rationalizations for Jinx's behavior doesn't dent Blue's fierce love for her mother, marking her as a tough, winning heroine who will earn readers' sympathy and respect. Ages 12-up.