One Crazy Summer

by Rita Williams-Garcia

The quiet power of the book builds and builds and builds until at the end, my heart is squeezed and my eyes are wet. I feel for these characters as if they are my closest friends and Delphine’s resilience and vulnerability and her final “triumph” made me want to hug her and tell her how incredibly proud she should feel about herself and also to “be eleven” and to perhaps now relax just a smidgen and to be loved and cuddled once in a while.

My huge appreciation also goes to the author and editor.  What a hard thing to achieve portraying a young woman whose sole focus is on herself and her craft as a poet, who comes off as uncaring and abusive, but the entire time, this reader senses an admirable dedication and stoicism and does not view her as a monster mama. The final explanation of her hard life comes at the right time and gives just the right amount of information to let me know that she is just coming out of her own protective shell and there will be some softening and relationship building in the future. (But, no false hope of her suddenly and irrationally becoming a pampering, snuggling kind of mother.)