Monday, October 8, 2012

The Truth About Dandelions by Hayley Linfield

Mara's parents divorced when she was young. She lived with her mother until a homeless man killed her mother. She was then sent to live with her father and his mistress in England. But then her father commits suicide and she is shipped back to Canada to live with a distant cousin. Even though she is loved by Cousin and Auntie, damage has already been done. Mara's life is a mess and steadily getting worse. Her schoolwork is fine, but it's after her classes that she falls apart. Her life is drinking and sex and many nights she does not even know the name of the guy she has been with. Then one day she is hit by a car driven by Jack. Jack begins taking her where she needs to go and tells her that he wants to get to know her. However, Jack does not want to have sex and Mara can not understand this. She does change however, until Jack makes her mad. She then sleeps with three other guys and becomes pregnant. Now Mara has to make decisions not only to make her child happy but to make herself happy too. The story is told in present times and also through flashbacks into Mara's childhood. In the beginning of the book Mara is not a very strong character, but she changes throughout the book and really turns her life around. Jack is a quiet influence in her life and it's through meeting him that she realizes she does not want to lead the kind of life that she has been. At one point she tells Jack, “Maybe every moment of your life defines you,” I say after a pause. “Maybe you're not as simplistic as one to two weak moments.” In the end she philosophizes. Things don’t always follow logic or common sense. Bizarre things happen. People with loved ones, dependent on them, are destroyed in freakish ways; mothers, filled with beautiful music, are ripped apart by lunacy and chance; speeding subways smash into fathers, knocking the life out of them; planes fall out of skies onto frightened young women. But we go on. This is not a feel good book, however you can't help and pull for Mara to be happy in the end. An interesting read and worth the time it takes to read it.

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