Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Review: going on nine by Catherine Fitzpatrick

Going on Nine, a novel by Catherine Fitzpatrick

16.95 – print
16.99 – ebook
Releases May 20, 2014

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From the Publisher:
A child swipes her mother's ring, snatches her sister's nightgown, and runs outside to play "bride." She soon loses the ring, rips the gown, correctly assumes it's about to rain daggers, and runs away from home to find a better; family. What happens next is a summer-long journey in which Grace Townsend rides shotgun in a Plymouth Belvedere, and hunkers in the back of a rattletrap vegetable truck, crawls into a crumbling tunnel, dresses up with a prom queen, and keeps vigil in the bedroom of a molestation victim. There are reasons why Grace remembers the summer of 1956 for the rest of her life. Those are just a few.

Through the eyes of a child and the mature woman she becomes, we make the journey with Grace and discover important truths about life, equality, family, and the soul-searching quest for belonging.

My review:
Our earliest conscious memories, our actions and reactions to events around us, and the people in our environments are part of what makes us who we are. During the summer of 1956 in St. Louis, Missouri, eight-year-old Grace Mitchell realizes the world doesn’t revolve around her, and is forever changed.

This wonderful book is a series of fictional events in Grace’s life, told both in real time from her young point of view, and framed by her adult self looking back on those events and commenting on how they changed her. Polio scare, adult secrets, parenting issues, children’s promises, and prejudices in many forms all work together to form Grace’s outlook on life. From the deal she makes with her parents—that she can spend time with neighborhood families who will have her in a search for a family better than hers—to becoming the keeper of secrets of those neighbors, to the grief at moving away at summer’s end, going on nine reminds me of my favorite novel, Dandelion Wine.

going on nine is annoyingly captivating—I couldn’t just gobble it up like I do other fiction. It took time to read, as I wanted to return to favorite scenes. I know I’ll be going back to spend time with Grace who would have made the very best loyal friend and sister.

Recommended for those who enjoy reminiscing, family life, and spunky little kids. Not a quick read. Contains a discussion guide.

Return on Friday for an interview with the Author.

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