I recently picked up an audio book that I didn’t realize is technically a juvenile title. I’m glad I didn’t know it, because I probably wouldn’t have listened to it. Funny how something like categorizing a book can keep someone from reading what might be relevant to him/her.
I initially was attracted to the novel’s cover which shows a young girl lying against a large tree limb in what looks like a forest. I read the back of the CD box and the storyline interested me. Aubrey, an eleven-year-old, loses her father and younger sister in a car crash. She and her mother survive, but the effects of what happened are difficult for them to deal with, as one would expect. Her mother disappears one morning, and Aubrey’s grandmother takes the girl home with her. A new school year starts with Aubrey having to transition from her old school and friends to new ones. Her mom ultimately is found, and what transpires in their relationship tells the tale of need, reality, and growth.
The author, Suzanne LaFleur, did an excellent job telling this heart-wrenching story. But beyond the tale itself, what strikes me are the similarities between people and events in the book and my own life. I know it’s all coincidental, but it still makes me feel weird inside. Let me explain …
Aubrey lives in Virginia. I live in Maryland. Okay, not the same state, but a neighboring one.
Aubrey’s grandmother lives in Vermont. And where do I travel almost monthly to pickup my son and take him back to college? Yes, Vermont!
Aubrey’s mom disappears and is found in Colorado. That is the state I have loved since I was a kid and always have been drawn to. I mean, Rocky Mountain High and all those other John Denver songs are ingrained in my soul.
Aubrey likes a boy named Marcus. My first boy crush was on a boy named Mark.
Aubrey’s new best friend likes a boy named Christian Richards. My dad’s name is Richard, and yes, we are Christians.
Aubrey is sent to talk to the school counselor about the things that are going on in her life. I, unfortunately, had the same experience while in school.
Aubrey feels that she was always closer to her dad and that her younger sister was closer to her mom. That is exactly the way it is with my mom, dad, and younger sister.
In lieu of a journal, Aubrey writes letters to her sister’s imaginary friend as well as to her counselor, her mom, and others. I always kept a journal when I was younger. I have to admit that it got me in trouble, so I stopped eons ago.
I suppose there are a few other elements in the book that I can stretchingly (yes, I know that’s not a real word) relate to. The point I really want to make is that this book drew me in with the story and kept me involved because I could relate to so many pieces of the book. What I really enjoyed was the ending, because Aubrey makes a very mature decision, and I applauded it. The outcome I expected Ms. LaFleur to provide was not the one she wrote, and I think she made the right choice.