Monday, 14 March 2011
Review: Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Released: March 15th, 2011
Grade rating: B+
Thirteen-year-old Lacey wakes to a beautiful summer morning excited to begin her new job at the library, just as her mother is supposed to start work at the grocery store. Lacey hopes that her mother's ghosts have finally been laid to rest; after all, she seems so much better these days, and they really do need the money. But as the hours tick by and memories come flooding back, a day full of hope spins terrifyingly out of control....
For those of you that have read The Chosen One or Glimpse, you'll know that Carol Lynch Williams is no stranger to writing about serious, important topics. She's gone and done it again with Miles from Ordinary, this time tackling the subject of mental illness and the strain it has on families and loves ones.
Even though the story isn't quite as strong as her previous novels, it still effortlessly sucks you into Lacey's life and everything she goes through to help her Momma. Lacey's desolation punches its way through every page, detailing just how much of her life she's given up to look after her mother. Daily taunts haunt her, but still she doesn't relent. She's a strong, inspiring 13-year-old, and is further proof that Carol Lynch Williams can successfully get inside the mind of anyone she wants.
Miles from Ordinary ticks over at a steady pace to start with, before reaching a truly chilling conclusion. I must admit, even I, a big fan of atmospheric situations, was spooked at the end. It's an odd direction that I wasn't expecting the book to go in, and I was more than a little surprised. At times I even felt like I was reading two different books, one more realistic than the other. It's an odd experience to feel so disorientated in the middle of a book, but one that I wouldn't mind having again. It puzzled me, but I think I liked it.
What I love most about Carol's books is her writing. It's beautiful and poetic, and paints pictures in my head so vivid that I often wonder how I conjured them. She's one of those authors who remains at the top of my list of best writers, purely because of her ability of come up with sparse, seemingly effortless sentences filled with emotion and hope. The Chosen One still reigns supreme, but Miles from Ordinary is a great addition to her ever-expanding library. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!