Saturday, October 19, 2013
Every Day After
Lizzie is growing up during the Great Depression, an already difficult time as people struggle to hold on to their jobs and homes. When Lizzie's dad loses his job, he takes off leaving Lizzie and her mother without telling them where he is going or if he will come back. The loss of her husband causes Lizzie's mother to have a breakdown and Lizzie is left to care for her mother and keep up their home. This is especially important to Lizzie as Erin, a bully in her class, threatens to let everyone know that Lizzie's mom is incapable of caring for her and Lizzie will be taken to an orphanage.
Ben, Lizzie's best friend, is going through his own troubles. His family is also beset by money problems after Ben's dad dies. Although Ben tries to befriend Lizzie as she deals with Erin and her mother, her inability to look past her own problems and see that Ben has some of his own, causes him to look elsewhere for a friend.
Parts of this story seemed too predictable - the portrayal of Erin as only mean without developing her as a more complex or authentic character bothered me. Yet, tweens who read this book will not be as critical of this or perhaps even realize it.
I loved the setting of Every Day After, and Golden manages to bring this story to a close in a satisfying way, without creating an ending that is trite or predictable.