Seventeen-year-old Gwendolyn P. Pearson has become very good at not thinking about the awful things that have happened to her family.
She has also become used to people talking about her dead mum. Or not talking about her and just looking at Gwen sympathetically.
And it's easy not to think about awful things when there are wild beaches to run along, best friends Loretta and Gordon to hang out with - and a stepbrother to take revenge on.
But following a strange disturbance at the cafe where she works, Gwen is forced to confront what happened to her family all those years ago. And she slowly comes to realise that people aren't as they first appear and that, like her, everyone has a story to tell.
Gwendolyn Pearl Pearson has had a traumatic life, and at 17 she is become used to people looking at her with pity, and avoiding the topic of her mum. Well everyone except her best friends Loretta and Gordon, and maybe the cute looking new boy who moved in down the road.
This is a truly exceptional story of friendship, grief, growing up, family ties, love and the reverberations faced by the whole family when one member has a mental illness.
The characters will captivate you, and the difficult subject matter is handled with such sensitivity that it will appeal to a wide audience.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope it makes readers realise everyone has a story to tell and that alt-hough some may be more difficult than others, it can be worth taking the time to listen so we don’t miss out on someone special.
Best suited girls in Year 9 and up.
Reviewed by Michelle