Thursday, March 31, 2016

Book Review: Unbecoming by Jenny Downham

Katie is not sure what to think. She's in the hospital, with her mom and brother, their normal schedules messed up, waiting for information on a woman who appears to be her grandmother. A grandmother she never knew before, a woman she didn't even know existed, a link to the past that her mother gives her so little about, and someone who doesn't know who she is.

Her life didn't need this interruption. She wanted things to go back to normal, when Esme was her friend, and she was working on her tests for school. Now there was Mary, her grandmother who had no place to go. Her mother is doing everything she can to get rid of Mary, and no one seems to know why.

Mary is trapped in a world she doesn't remember, with people who are vaguely familiar. If she could just get back to that place, or if Jack could help her, then she could figure it out. If she could just find Caroline, she could explain everything. Pat was a Saint, and she was the woman who left her, but she was still her mother.

Two generations of mothers and daughters need to work out what happened in the past, and remember what brought them to this place. The present and future are at risk, waiting for the truth. This is truly Katie and Mary's story, both figuring out who they need to be in broken families. Caroline needs to remember her part, and expose her past to free them both, Mary from her life as a mother who was never enough, and Katie to a future with more possibilities.

Unbecoming is a book that weaves the past and the present, and mother and daughter, and mother and daughter. If you liked Jandy Nelson's I'll Give You the Sun, or books by Sarah Dessen, you'll love the family relationships and secrets in Jenny Downham's Unbecoming.

I'll see you @ the library!

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