Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Love, Aubrey / Suzanne LaFleur

Summary - "I had everything I needed to run a household: a house, food, and a new family. From now on it would just be me and Sammy–the two of us, and no one else."

A tragic accident has turned eleven-year-old Aubrey’s world upside down. Starting a new life all alone, Aubrey has everything she thinks she needs: SpaghettiOs and Sammy, her new pet fish. She cannot talk about what happened to her. Writing letters is the only thing that feels right to Aubrey, even if no one ever reads them.

With the aid of her loving grandmother and new friends, Aubrey learns that she is not alone, and gradually, she finds the words to express feelings that once seemed impossible to describe. The healing powers of friendship, love, and memory help Aubrey take her first steps toward the future.Readers will care for Aubrey from page one and will watch her grow until the very end, when she has to make one of the biggest decisions of her life.

Review - Love, Aubrey is another book to add to my pile of children left behind novels...and yet I enjoyed it. I had heard a lot of very complimentary things about this novel before I read it and so I was expecting a lot. I really wasn't all that sure what to think about it as I started reading. I was piecing together the story well before elements were confirmed and yet I was in the present with Aubrey. This could just be a story about grief, instead it's about being left behind, and all that that means.

The eleven year old protagonist is not someone I would normally want to read about. She's mourning her family - how it once was, what it isn't now. She's barely keeping her head above the waters swirling with grief, depression, anger and need. What surprised me is how removed I felt and how much emotion I felt. I am contradicting myself I know, but that's how I felt. The anger I felt towards Elizabeth is overwhelming, I understand on a base level that her depression overrode her daughter's needs but I didn't care. She left her child alone. The last remaining member of her immediate family and she just up and left her. How dare she?

While Aubrey's being difficult with her grandmother, befriending Bridget or missing Savannah - I didn't really connect. But it took one letter to her father to break me. I find it interesting that the one member of the family, the one mentioned the least, could elicit so much emotion from me. It was then I realised how beautifully crafted this novel is. Each word is deliberate. LaFleur's words are delicately placed creating a whirlwind of contrasting emotions that race through you, leaving an emotional wreck behind. It is a stunning debut effort, one that I am reluctant to quantify because I cannot place why it is so good. Perhaps it's the use of simple language which leaves you feeling sparse? Maybe it's the number of emotions, conclusions and thoughts that aren't ever directly stated? Maybe it's both. Regardless, this book is a revelation and the start to a very promising career for Suzanne LaFleur.

Publisher: June 2009
Format: Paperback, 267 pages
Publisher: Penguin
Origin: USA

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Suzanne LaFleur's Official Website


Steph Su said...

Heard many great things about Love, Aubrey, and your review is no exception. I hope I can find a copy of it to read soon!

Anonymous said...

Love Aubrey will be available in Australia in July 2009

Janssen said...

It sounds good, but I don't know if I can handle another lousy mom book right now. Seems like I've read a LOT of them lately.

Anonymous said...

this is such a good book i recomend it to...EVERYONE