Fellow literature fans, it is my great pleasure to announce
Drum roll please...
Sarah Dessen's latest book is out. I do believe that Saint Anything
is her best yet.
"The first thing you saw when you walked into our house was a
portrait of my brother. It hung directly across from the huge glass
door, right above a wood credenza and the Chinese vase where father
stored his umbrellas. You'd be forgiven if you never noticed those
things though. Once you saw Peyton, you couldn't take your eyes off
Sydney, Dessen's narrator, has lived in the shadow of her older
brother, Peyton, pretty much her whole life. When they were younger
it was due to his good looks and charisma. Beginning with a
suspension and required volunteering for smoking pot in a school
parking lot, though, his life began to center more and more around
court dates and rehab. Needless to say, his mom's life (dad is good
at avoiding unpleasantness) is centered around him.
As the story begins the family is in court for Peyton's jail
sentencing. This time he hit and paralyzed a 15-year-old bike rider,
David. Because she's Peyton's sibling, Sydney feels a great deal of
sorrow for this boy who will never walk again and guilt.
Sydney does her best to cope with a difficult situation. She
transfers from her exclusive private school to the public one. She
strives to avoid Ames, Peyton's friend whom her parents have taken
under their wing. He creeps her out, not that mom or dad would notice.
A ray of hope comes in the form of the Chatham family, an
easygoing clan that offers her the understanding and unconditional
acceptance she's yearned for all her life. It's not clear, however,
if she can explain these relationships to her parents who are trying
to prevent her from following in her brother's footsteps, oblivious to
the fact she has no intentions of doing so.
On a personal note, here in Penobscot County we are in the dog days of
summer. It's what old time meteorologists used to call 3 H: hot,
hazy, and humid. Monday night, having no place to swim, I took the
bus to Cascade Park in Bangor. There is a big fountain with a stone
rim. The water shoots up way in the air. At night there are colored
lights. I spent three hours reading and eating cherries with my feet
in the fountain. I picked trash out of it also and talked to people.
I met a lovely couple from Kentucky, visiting Maine for the first
time, who enjoyed learning about some of the places they could see.
A great big shout out goes out to my younger daughter and fellow Sarah
Dessen fan. She is holding down a professional job and living the
good life in Portland. Here's looking at you, Katie!!! I couldn't
possibly be more proud of you.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod