Tuesday, September 11, 2018
First sentence: I saw a white rabbit with one bent ear hopping over a giant spoon filled with whipped cream. That's what it looked like to me anyway. I'd been lying on my back in the bed of my father's rusty old pickup truck all morning, watching clouds.
Premise/plot: Soof is a companion novel to So B. It. Heidi is NOT the narrator of Soof. Heidi is an adult now--a married woman with a child on the way. Aurora, the daughter of Ruby and Roy, is our narrator. She's heard stories about Heidi from the womb practically. Her mother crediting Heidi's "luck" for her daughter's miraculous conception. Aurora doesn't have a problem with a far-away-Heidi. There's no competition so long as Heidi stays far-away. But with Heidi coming to visit, well, Aurora is feeling out of sorts. She does NOT understand how Ruby can love Heidi like a daughter. Aurora has her own way of seeing the world and coping with the world, a way that makes her seem odd or quirky. Her mother worries that she might be autistic, might be "on the spectrum." She has taken Aurora to countless doctors trying to find a reason for her daughter's social awkwardness. (You can imagine how Aurora feels about her mother's anxiety. Aurora does NOT want to be explained, she wants to be loved unconditionally.)
Aurora's best friend is a dog named DUCK. Consider yourself warned.
My thoughts: I love, love, love the cover. I do. I'm not sure that I love the text. Aurora is not Heidi. She's her own person. I know in my head that that is a good thing. To compare Aurora and Heidi would be a mistake their parents--and readers--should avoid.
My favorite part of the book comes at the very end when Aurora makes her very first (non-related human) friend, Rosemary. Though Rosemary only stars in two or three pages at best, I instantly loved her. I'm left imagining how incredibly awesome the whole book would have been if she'd been there from the beginning.
Over half of the novel focuses on life without DUCK and how Aurora is struggling with the loss of her best friend. Perhaps because she's lost her coping mechanism--her furry friend--she's unable to handle Heidi's visit.
It was nice to visit with Heidi again. But she's all grown up and practically a stranger. Readers learn, for example, that Bernadette is all better--she's able to leave her apartment and she's even got a steady boyfriend. Heidi is married, as I mentioned, but we learn nothing about whom she married. So many stories that this adult reader wanted to hear. But the novel is from Aurora's point of view. And Aurora is hostile to Heidi. I hope that Ruby and Heidi are confiding in each other and getting properly caught up. Unfortunately, we're not there to eavesdrop.
© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews