The Education of Ivy Blake
Readers who enjoyed Ellen Airgood's Prairie Evers will be
thrilled with its very worthy sequel, The Education of Ivy Blake.
Ivy is free spirit Prairie's best friend. She's been living
with the Evers family, feeling a real sense of security and belonging
for the first time in her life. Suddenly, in the middle of the night,
her mother, Tracy, is back to claim her.
"The gist of it was, she was leaving George. Leaving George,
leaving Poughkeepsie, leaving her job at the night desk of the hotel,
quitting her life across the river cold turkey. She'd thrown her
wedding ring and house keys smack at George's heart, which he didn't
have anyway, and pulled away."
She wants a new start in a new town with Ivy.
Ivy works hard to convince herself that her new life is going to
be ok. She takes every positive sign as an omen of normalcy. Tracy,
however, hasn't acquired the stability required for single parenting a
preteen. She dismisses Ivy's interests, reminding her that people
like them "don't get happy endings." She drinks too much. She
behaves very erratically, making scenes in public. Sometimes the
police get called in.
Ivy very much misses the Evers family. But she refuses to tell
them the truth of her situation...no matter how bad things get.
On a personal note, I had my most recent op ed published in the Bangor
Daily News. It was a very personal piece about suicide prevention. I
wrote it to further spread the message of the UMaine Out of the
Darkness walk. It's my best yet. I plan to enter it next fall for
Maine Press Awards.
A great big shout out goes out to people working to prevent suicide
and to help the kids in unstable family situations who, like Ivy, are
in danger of missing out on the chance to grow up nurtured and
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod