By Andrew McCarthy
4 out of 5 stars
Lucy is a regular 15-year-old. She has what she considers a normal family. Her parents are happily married. Her younger sister is rather quiet but very into musicals. She seems to spend most of her time in her room, singing and listening to musicals. Life turns upside down when she overhears her parents talking one night. They sit the family down and tell them that their father is also the father of a little 8-year-old boy named Thomas. Lucy is thrown. How has her mother stayed with him? Who is her father, really? She separates herself from them, especially her father. She starts a relationship with her friend’s brother Simon, who seems to have some social issues, but is really a good guy. One night, she decides to go by herself to visit her grandfather. He is her dad’s dad and they didn’t have the best relationship. She hops on a train, a bus, a lot goes on to get there. Lucy spends time with a man she hardly knows and when something unexpected happens, things change for Lucy and her father.
Yes, this is THE Andrew McCarthy. I enjoyed his last book, which was nonfiction, and went into this one with a little trepidation. How can a man in his 40’s, speak the words of a teenage girl? I don’t know why I think it would be hard for a man to write in a woman’s voice, when I don’t think it’s hard for a woman to write in a man’s voice. That is my own sexism I suppose. But he did really well with Lucy. There were times I was very upset with the way she acted towards her parents but then again, that happens a lot with teenage girls. (Not mine, thank goodness.) And I had to wonder why she was able to roam all over the town on her own. (Maybe I was just very overprotective.) I loved her slow progression into more understanding of everyone involved. I also loved her time with her grandfather. She is at the age where she can start figuring life out for herself. I think a lot of people will be able to relate to her search for that. The chapters are very quick and move the story along at a good pace. I enjoyed it very much and hope he writes more fiction.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Algonquin in exchange for an honest review.