Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff
The only other book I'd read by Meg Rosoff was How I Live Now which I hadn't really enjoyed so I didn't know what to expect from this very different book. I thought it was great. It was thoughtful and refreshingly different from everything I'd been reading. Mila is not a typical narrator, so I hope the book will be appealing to middle school kids and not just to adults!
Mila can read emotions well, even the ones that people are trying not to show. She notices the smallest of details, like Sherlock Holmes. She even notices and understands things her father doesn't see. Her father is a translator, and usually has his head in the clouds. Mila often feels like she needs to take care of him.
Mila and her father arrive in New York and are retrieved by Matthew's wife, Suzanne, and their infant son. Mila can tell right away that Suzanne's carrying a lot of anger. When they reach the house, Mila can see that the dog is clearly Matthew's dog, and Suzanne doesn't like it. Why wouldn't he take his dog?
Mila is beginning to see the kind of life Suzanne and Matthew had, and tries to reason out how someone could up and leave his baby son. There are a lot of surprising revelations as the story continues and Mila and Gil uncover more and more, things they never thought they would learn. Big, life changing things.
As Mila puts it all together, she comes to a surprising realization, which I don't want to give away. It is hard for her to handle. It makes her think about the nature of truth.
It's a very quiet, thoughtful kind of book. There are big revelations, but to call them "exciting" would be wrong. It's not going to be for everyone, but I highly recommend it.
Oh, but there's no use of quotation marks, which I find annoying and at times confusing. What exactly is the point of that?