Book Review Squalor, New Mexico

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Written By Lisette Brodey

Published March 18th 2009 by  Saberlee Books

This is a coming of age story and it would seem like that is all I read but I swear it’s not.  In fact I rarely read books like this.

The story is told from the point of view of Darla, starts when she is nine and ends when she is 17. She lives with her mother and father and is really close to her 3 cousins April,May and June. One day Darla walks in on her mother and her aunt discussing their little sister Rebecca and this peaks an interest that Darla can’t let go of. Rebecca seems to have some strange hold over the entire family including Darla’s aunt and uncle the mother and father of her three cousins. This book was excellent it made me angry, sad, frustrated and happy I even laughed out loud in several places and cried at the end. Darla is a pretty typical teenager melodramatic and bratty at times but overall she tries to be a good person most of the time. Her three cousins seem on the surface to be almost too good to be true especially for teenage girls but, there is so much more to them. The parts of the book that made me frustrated actually had to do with both sets of parents. Darla’s mother and father were kind of pathetic. Her father is a giant stick in the mud and not in the way that every teenager thinks their father is a stick in the mud but for real!! Her mother seems to have no backbone and is more concerned with appearances than real life. Darla’s aunt is a stage mom to April, May, and June and is only concerned with the next show the girls will be performing in. The girl’s father is basically non-existent in their life and lets his wife push him around. Seriously every book I have read recently has terrible parents in it! The central plot revolves around Rebecca the secret aunt, even though she lives somewhere else and none of the girls have ever met her. Darla spends her time thinking about this secret aunt and it sort of takes over her life and the lives of her entire family without anyone even being conscious of it. Darla enlists the help of her cousins and her best friend Melanie to uncover the secrets of Rebecca and this takes her entire family on this crazy emotional journey with results no one could have seen coming. There is so much more to the book than that but to give any more detail would ruin things for you. At times I thought I had the secret of Rebecca figured out, I didn’t although I was in the ballpark. The end of this book was so good and emotional I just loved it. This is a book I will probably re-read at some point and I think I might love it even more when I do. Bottom line read this book because it is amazing.


Until Next Time


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