Friday, June 26, 2015

The Great Gilly Hopkins (1978)

The Great Gilly Hopkins. Katherine Paterson. 1978. 256 pages. [Source: Bought]

"Gilly," said Miss Ellis with a shake of her long blonde hair toward the passenger in the back seat. "I need to feel that you are willing to make some effort."

Galadriel Hopkins is the narrator of The Great Gilly Hopkins. What's she like? Angry, sarcastic, bitter, reluctant to make connections. Gilly is a foster kid. She's been in plenty of different foster homes for most of her life. Some slightly better than others. But none of them ever feeling like a real home. To tell the truth, Gilly wouldn't know what to do in a foster home that feels like HOME. For Gilly is clinging tightly to the dream that her mom will come back for her, that her mom loves her very much and actually misses her. When the novel opens, Gilly is getting placed in a new home...

Mrs. Trotter is her new foster mother. She also has another foster kid, William Ernest, in her home. From the very start, I thought Mrs. Trotter was a great character. And I also loved Mr. Randolph, the blind neighbor that comes to the Trotters' house for meals. These two adults were so lovable in comparison to the not-so-lovable Gilly. And the love they show to Gilly is something. I was reminded of hesed love.
"Hesed is one-way love. Love without an exit strategy. When you love with hesed love, you bind yourself to the object of your love, no matter what the response is... Hesed is a stubborn love" ~ Paul Miller, A Loving Life: In A World of Broken Relationships, 24.
Did I love The Great Gilly Hopkins? Not exactly. I liked it. I appreciated it. But I didn't love it.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

hopeinbrazil said...

I picked this one up at a yard sale recently. Thanks for reviewing it.