Monday, January 18, 2010
Review: "Where We Have To Go" by Lauren Kirshner
Where We Have to Go is an absolutely beautiful coming-of-age story. In the beginning Lucy is a gawky girl on the verge of adolescence with no breasts to speak of and the habit of counting things to ward off bad events. This hint of her obsessive-compulsiveness develops into full-blown anorexia in her teen years when she realizes that she doesn't fit in at school. This part hit particularly close to home for me. I didn't have anorexia in school, but I certainly didn't fit in with the popular girls, despite my desire to. Reading this book brought all of that awkwardness back, along with a sense of relief that I am now past my teenage years and am a (relatively) well-adjusted adult. Lauren Kirshner manages to take those feelings of highschool aniexty and channels them into some great material.
Her characters were also really well-developed, particularly the character of Lucy's grandfather. He was a secondary character, but I could picture him, especially when he leans his cane against the wall of his nursing home, pretending that he doesn't need it, so that he can hit on the pretty young nurses. Lauren Kirshner has written a great debut novel, one that will beg to be read again.
Thank-you to Lauren Kirshner and McClelland Publishers for this review copy!
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Those who enjoy coming-of-age stories, fiction lovers, and those who are looking to read more Canadian authors
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge 2010