A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{September 30, 2010}   Lucy Unstrung by Carole Lazar

Plot: Lucy’s mother had her when she was only 15 years old. She later married an accountant and got a job in a convent. But she is not satisfied with her life and is talking about going back to school and getting a separation. Lucy blames her mom’s new friend Gina for all these changes. She doesn’t want to leave her private, catholic school and her only friend. She doesn’t want to sell her perfect house. And she doesn’t want to take care of Gina’s dog Lucy.

This is a strange little book about a strange little girl. Lucy is not very worldly. She admits herself that she is an only child with no social skills. She sees the world through her grandmother’s catholic dogma which makes her very quick to judge people, especially her mother. Even the priest finds her worries a little silly. I’m not sure I like Lucy, she can be obnoxious and self-righteous, but she has a very distinctive voice and her unique perspective can be funny… though I’m not sure that’s her intention.

The book itself is very readable. It is short and well written. I read it quickly but when I got to the end I realized that very little actually happens. Lucy starts to make new friends, she starts to deal with a bully and then all those stories are abandoned in favour of the “my parents are getting back together” wish fulfillment ending. If you are hoping for a novel about dealing with divorce and learning to understand people with a different world view, this is not that book. Lucy doesn’t really learn anything from her experiences, she doesn’t change except to come to love Gina’s dog. It was a pleasant read but left me with the feeling of walking in place.


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