Madeline spends most of her time mothering her own mother, who's an alcoholic; she spends the rest of her time trying to fill up her emptiness by eating. Then she meets Tad, and her world starts to change. Desiree does not get along with her mother and fends off unwanted advances from her mother's boyfriend - but one day he overpowers her and forces himself on her. Ariel loves spending time with Shane, her boyfriend, even though she doesn't have much time for the other things in her life. Then her mom gets a call from her mother, who Ariel has never met; her grandmother has cancer, and Ariel and her mother decide to go and visit her in the hospital. Madeline (in the 1970s), Desiree (in the early 1990s) and Ariel (in 2009) each must face difficult relationships and consequences - and they all have the blue plate special in common.
This book was not what I was expecting, and I was very pleasantly surprised by it. I enjoyed settling in to the realities in the three different time periods, and getting used to the different styles of writing. I loved what the book has to say about how life shapes people and how people react differently to difficult situations. This was an incredibly satisfying book for me to read; I was spurred on to read it because it was a 2009 Cybils finalist, and I'm really glad that I did.
Find it at IndieBound.
Read it with:
Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Outside Beauty by Cynthia Kadohata
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr