Thursday, March 04, 2010

Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur

love aubrey “It’d been a good three days: crackers and cheese for breakfast, TV; crackers and cheese for lunch, TV; crackers and cheese for dinner, TV, bed. Nothing to think about but TV and cheese. A perfect world. Then I ran out of cheese.”

Like most children in her situation(if books are to be believed), Aubrey covers for her mother after she disappears. She doesn’t tell anyone that she’s all alone, she doesn’t answer the phone, and she doesn’t answer the door. When she runs out of cheese, she takes the money she got for her birthday and goes to the store, buying only the important things, like SpaghettiOs with meatballs, Cheerios, bread, some vegetables, and a pet fish. The aloneness doesn’t last long. Aubrey’s grandmother is worried and comes down to Virginia from Vermont on the train (and she hates to travel!), and when she understands that her daughter Lissie has gone off and left Aubrey alone, she takes her back to Vermont with her while she tries to find her. The story just gets better from here. Aubrey doesn’t want to give in and be happy, but Gram is too good at getting her to cooperate for her to fight it for long. Also, she becomes instant friends with the girl next-door, Bridget. Aubrey bottle up her feelings inside (this may be why she feels sick to her stomach so often) and really only lets them out in letters she writes to her younger sister’ imaginary friend. The author only gradually lets the reader in on the back story –what happened to the rest of Aubrey’s family. In the end, Aubrey has to make a difficult choice: whether to go back to Virginia with her mother, or to stay on in Vermont for a little bit longer. Review by Stacy Church

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