AVAILABLE May 3, 2022
A beautiful novel about the unlikely friendship between 11 year old Stewie and his older neighbor, Marilyn. He’s wise, polite, extremely literal, and sensitive to a fault. She’s defensive, lonely, emotionally exhausted, and embittered. Yet, they fill a void in each other and behave as equals.
It is unusual and always welcome to find a set of characters like these–a child and an adult who are not related, taking on the world together. There are lessons to be learned no matter the age of a person. There are great examples of the difference between talking TO a child and talking AT a child. The relationship that can develop when a child is respected instead of commanded is quite remarkable. (My favorite author, Roald Dahl, is an expert at this in his books.)
The supporting characters are also terrific in their development, especially Stewie’s nurturing older sister, Stacey, and optimistic brother, Theo. This story is a reminder that the definition of “family” can extend beyond blood relatives and that true loved ones are those who care, listen and are interested in our welfare.
I look forward to reading more books by this author. Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the advanced copy.