by Jessica Barksdale Inclan

March 2005
ISBN: 0-451-21460-9
Reviewer Graphic Button New American Library
Mass Market Paperback

Peri Mackenzie loves her children with all of her heart. But after her divorce, she feels herself slowly falling apart. As the bills pile up and her responsibility only seems to increase, she loses her mind.

Carly, Periís oldest daughter finds herself taking on her motherís responsibilities and tending to her disabled, bed ridden younger sister. Her brother is too busy running with the wrong crowd to be bothered to help her out at home. With her motherís recent abandonment all she can do is hold on to the hope her mother will come back and save her from all this stress and worry.

Carl Periís father tried to be a good father. There were some areas he lacked in, as being divorced he didnít have his children full time. When everything collides for the children, he finds himself stepping into help his family and questioning his own behavior toward his daughter all these years.

A novel that details family life and its very real struggles Jessica Barksdale Inclan has brought to fiction, a story that could be true in hundreds of homes across America. She took a very real situation, and brought it out in such a way that any reader could understand what motivated these people. One could also find themselves in sympathy with Peri, the supposed bad guy of the story.

To be fair to the plight of each character, there was no real bad guy. Each was struggling in their own ways to come to terms with Brooke, the youngest childís disabilities. But in the adults, everyone became so wrapped up with how to handle their own lives they all forgot for a few moments about the subject of all the anguish, Brooke.

This was a story that will keep you turning page after page, at times your heart breaking to see the destruction of this family. As they begin to repair bridges that have broken, heal emotional bonds within themselves and each other, and start reaching out to each other again, the reader will find themselves crying and rejoicing over the little accomplishments with them. Told through the eyes of both the mother and the adolescent, you are allowed to see both sides of the issues. I found this to be an emotional, moving story and highly recommend it for your summer read list!

Reviewed in June 2005 by Katy.

Read more reviews of Jessica Barksdale Inclan books.Click Here