Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Find A Stranger, Say Goodbye

Find A Stranger, Say Goodbye. Lois Lowry. 1978/2018. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 192 pages. [Source: Review copy]

"If you get a fat letter, it means you've been accepted. If you get a thin letter, forget it."

Natalie Armstrong is about to graduate from high school. The year is 1977. Before she begins college, Natalie wants to search for her biological mother. She loves, loves, loves her parents. Her father is a doctor, and she wants to be one too. Her mother is wonderful kind of crazy. Her younger sister, Nancy, is a true friend. She's not wanting to find her mother out of emptiness or loneliness. Not really. But the need to know her mother, her mother's story, is strong.

Her parents gift her--for graduation--a box with all the information they have on her adoption. Her grandmother gifts her with correspondence. (Letters from her mother to Natalie's grandmother).

Where will her journey take her?

My thoughts: I enjoyed this one very much. It is a thoughtful character-driven novel. I loved spending time with Natalie and her family. My two favorite characters were Natalie and her grandmother, Tallie. I especially loved their conversations together. I also love how it captures the promise and potential of that time of life. Everything is in a state of change, the only thing certain is that one door has closed forever. 
"Sometimes we have to hurt people, in order to keep ourselves whole. We must just do it with love, that's all."
"That doesn't make much sense to me," admitted Natalie.
"Where is it written that anything has to make sense? All I mean is that when you have to hurt someone you love, do it honestly. And you're doing that. You could have sneaked around and done what you're doing. It would have been more difficult, of course, but you could have done it, Natalie. And you didn't. You told them exactly what you were doing. And it hurt, but they know you love them." (63)

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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