29. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Courtney, Teen Books

This is How I Find Her by Sara Polsky, 272 pages, read by Courtney, on 01/07/2014

All of Sophie’s life has been about her mother. As long as she can remember, she’s been taking care of her mother through all of the ups and downs that a bi-polar disorder can bring. Until one day, when Sophie gets home from school to find the house much quieter than usual. She finds her mother barely alive on the bed with a nearly-empty bottle of pills nearby. After 911 has been called and the house cleaned up, Sophie packs her things and heads to her aunt’s house. She hasn’t seen her aunt’s family in years, but was always told that she could call them if she really needed to. This time, Sophie had no choice. As her mother slowly recovers, Sophie reflects back on the life they’ve been living together (and why her aunt’s family has been kept at a distance) as well as what it means for their futures. For the first time in her life, Sophie is not the one who has to take care of everything and she’s not sure how to feel about it.
This is more or less a traditional “problem novel” where a main character has an issue that they have to deal with by the time the book is over. In this case, it is the mentally-ill parent and the teenaged daughter who does more of the actual parenting. Sophie’s love for her mother is obvious and palpable, but later revelations about her mother’s behavior make one wonder why no one stepped in earlier. The reader will feel empathy for Sophie, but she’s not a particularly nuanced character.

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