Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Out of the Blue - Henderson

Tillie Harris is alone when she goes into labor. She is unpacking her newly moved home and her husband is traveling. She doesn't even know her neighbors. She has no family close by, except for her estranged father. Tillie is terrified of losing her baby, so she calls him for help.

So begins Out of the Blue by Susan Henderson. After finding her way to the hospital, Tillie is surprised to see that her father has come to meet her. She does not want to see him.

What follows is Tillie's memories of how and why that estrangement came about. The year is 1975 and her mother is ill. Tillie is young and does not understand, but Tillie's mother is clinically depressed. Her father, a staunch military man, is unforgiving. So much so that, when Tillie's mother disappears, she is left wondering if he has killed her.

When her mother reappears, Tillie is angry with her father. Her childhood wounds go deep, but not as deep as her blind love for her mother. Eventually, Tillie is faced with the truth of her mother's illness and the life-altering decisions that her mother makes to survive her illness. She has to face the very adult realization that sometimes the people who love you do things you do not like or your own good.

Susan Henderson has a unique gift. She offers a compelling look at a broken and disintegrating family from the voice of an eight-year-old child full of innocence and childhood bravado. Her writing is beautiful. Her plot and characters illuminating.

I enjoyed this book very much and would highly recommend it to anyone who loves a well written piece of fiction.

4/5- Great. Push it on your friends and family.

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