Originally posted on my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
The first thing that made me want to read this novel was the cover. I thought it was simplistic yet gorgeous and mixed with the beautifully lyrical title, it was of course book lust at first sight. I'm so thankful that the book ended up being rather good. I was pleasantly surprised and gobbled this gem up on Thanksgiving Day almost as fast as I ate turkey and dressing!
My absolute favorite thing about this novel is the vibe and atmosphere I got from it. This is totally a coming-of-age novel much like the movies NOW AND THEN, SIMON BIRCH and RADIO FLYER. You know the kind I'm talking about? The narrator is much older and looking back, reminiscing on things and such. Anyways. I loved the feel of the novel. It felt genuine and authentic. I adored the main character, Florine. She was funny, truthful and most of all, she felt so real to me. The pain and grief she feels after her mothers disappearance is truly heartbreaking. Ber father's pain and grief too, is very palpable. The writing/language in this novel is really well done and quite beautiful. I thought Rogers did a great job of showing the progression and depth of Florine's character and I enjoyed watching her blossom. I loved that she hated Stella and yet by the end of the book, came to accept her. Lastly, I adored Florine's tight group of friends. They are her rock and her backbone and its so refreshing to see those type of young adult relationships portrayed in novels.
Honestly, I don't have much negative to say about this novel but my biggest complaint is about the unresolved mystery. Though its hinted at, we never really know and that sucks for both Florine and the readers. Also, I think it was a bit dramatic to have so many life-altering/traumatic events happen to Fluorine over the course of her young life. Don't get me wrong, it happens but it just comes off as trying to make things as shitty for Florine as can be to show how much she's had to overcome.
Overall though, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and would recommend it for people who enjoy coming-of-age novels especially set in 50's and 60's.