Wednesday, February 07, 2024

19. The Fire, the Water, and Maudie McGinn

The Fire, The Water, and Maudie McGinn. Sally J. Pla. 2023. [July] 336 pages. [Source: Library] [J Fiction; J Realistic Fiction; MG Fiction, MG Realistic Fiction; dysfunctional families]

First sentence: I learned this great calm-down trick recently. It was the end-of-the-year seventh-grade dance, back in Houston, which is where I live during the school year with my mom and stepdad.

Premise/plot: Maudie McGinn looks forward to spending summers with her dad in California, but a wildfire destroys "plan A" and the two quickly come up with a "plan B." Maudie didn't plan on spending her summer learning to surf while her father hunts for a job. But ANYTHING is better than having to spend the summer with her mother and stepfather instead. Will Maudie share her deepest, darkest secret by the time the summer is over?

My thoughts: Maudie has autism but that is not the whole story; that is not what the whole book revolves around. I love seeing Maudie begin to live life more fully and freely. The book does have a happily-ever-after, rosy ending, BUT, only after much worry and angst. Maudie does deserve some happiness after living with her stepfather for several years and enduring much cruelty. 

I do think most of the characters fall into two categories--either perfectly perfect saints or dastardly villains. But overall I enjoyed this one very much. 


© 2024 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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