Thursday, October 21, 2010
Up From The Blue by Susan Henderson
As she waits for the birth, Tillie is torn between the uncertain future and her memories of growing up, especially the year she was eight. That was the year her family moved from a military base to Washington DC, so that her father, the colonel, could work at the Pentagon on a new missile system. That was also the year her beloved mother disappeared from her life, first mentally, then physically. Her mother is caught up in a deep, bone-numbing depression, and can not function in a normal family setting. Tillie relives those years and how her mother's absence affected all her relationships. It affected not only her maternal relationship, but her paternal one at all. Having normal friendships were beyond her, and even her brother and she were remote figures passing each other without connecting. Only one teacher could see behind her moods and distractedness to the real little girl hiding inside.
This book is dangerous. Readers should make sure that they have carved out a sufficient amount of time, as once they start reading, all else fades into insignificance. Jobs will be neglected, children left to fend for themselves, spouses ignored. Susan Henderson has written a book that grabs the reader by the throat, and brings them into a world where the love between a mother and child when the mother is damaged is explored. The topic is grim, but the book is anything but. Tillie is a little girl the reader will fall madly in love with. One hopes she can make her way in the world to a successful future. This book is highly recommended for all readers.