In-Betweens: 2 Center Grade Novels Concerning the Prices and Advantages of Being 11

Lou lives along with her mother and her older sister, Casey, in an condominium in San Francisco. Although Mother nonetheless struggles to pay the hire, issues have been higher since she divorced their alcoholic father: “No extra strolling on eggshells. … No extra questioning how lengthy he’d be capable of maintain his job this time, or if he’d keep in mind issues like your birthday or your baptism or if it was a Saturday or a Tuesday.”

On the eve of her eleventh birthday, change is as soon as extra within the air, as Lou’s mother is about to marry Steve, a person from their church: “Lou’s birthday was on Friday. After which Saturday, the marriage.”

Whereas it will present some much-needed monetary stability, together with separate bedrooms for Lou and Casey, it’ll additionally imply altering faculties and leaving associates behind.

Steve’s provide to undertake Lou and Casey doesn’t sit properly with Lou. Steve is completely good, however she already has a dad. “She didn’t want a brand new one. She simply needed the one she needed to be completely different.”

Lou desires the whole lot to return to the “we” it was once: “Earlier than Steve, we was Lou and Casey and Mother. … Now it appeared like we was Steve and Mother, whereas Lou and Casey had abruptly develop into a separate us,” with no room for Dad in any respect.

So when Lou is presented a mysterious guitar for her birthday, she decides to imagine it’s from Dad, although there isn’t a title on the cardboard. She begins taking classes from Steve’s variety neighbor, and focuses on studying Dad’s favourite songs from his outdated Neil Younger and R.E.M. albums. The guitar classes, together with a brand new haircut, new associates and a brand new spelling of her title (“Lu”), assist ease the transition to her new college, and slowly her new life turns into simply … her life.

Whereas Dad doesn’t abruptly cease consuming, he does present as much as see Lou play the guitar within the center college expertise present. And when he admits he was not the one who gave her the guitar, Lou’s disappointment is tempered by the truth that she has lastly develop into a “we” with the one who did: Steve.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/11/books/overview/anybody-here-seen-frenchie-leslie-connor-a-song-called-home-sara-zarr.html In-Betweens: 2 Center Grade Novels Concerning the Prices and Advantages of Being 11

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