Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Once Was Lost (YA)
Once Was Lost. By Sara Zarr. 2009. [October 2009]. Little, Brown. 224 pages.
The whole world is wilting. Shriveling. Giving up. Dying. Maybe not the whole world. Somewhere, I guess, it's not ninety-one degrees at four in the morning. I would like to be in that place. I would like to be somewhere, anywhere, that life feels possible and not smothered under a layer of heat and hopelessness.
Sam (not short for Samantha, but Samara) is a preacher's kid. And this summer is her worst yet. Her mom's in court-ordered rehab. Her dad is her dad. He's so caught up in being "Pastor Charlie" that he has forgotten that his family should come first. When he's not ignoring her, he's not listening to her. (Could this be one reason why her mom turned to alcohol?!) Sam's family is falling apart. It's more than her mom's drinking and her dad's absence. There are financial worries as well. Sam might have to switch schools. She just feels so alone, so depressed, so angry. This is a summer when doubts and questions and fears arise.
When Jody Shaw, a church kid, only thirteen, disappears, then Sam just sees it as one more thing gone wrong, one more reason to doubt God. As a community comes together for thirteen anxious days, she becomes closer to Jody's older brother, Nick. Both teens are struggling. For better or worse, this crisis is changing her as a person. Can she find her way? Can she find a way to believe in miracles again?
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews