A teen reader recommended this book, well, actually handed it to


me and said it was a must-read. I was in the middle of reading Go Set a Messenger, which I put aside to start Crazy, so, um, this better be good.

This story is very much in the vein of Love Letters to the Dead, an introspective narrative interspersed with poetry that moves the story along at a fast clip. The story, set in the early 1960s against a backdrop of JKF’s assassination and high school home economic classes and sewing projects, addresses the toll that mental illness takes on a family and the shame that a 15-year girl experiences as she comes of age with an erratic and unpredictable mother. While the main character finds comfort in her paints and easel, when her mother, a once-promising artist, begins painting, it precipitates a nervous breakdown. Readers will discover the limits of treatment for mental illness and the limitations and conformity expected of young women in that era.

This was a really enjoyable read, but now I turn my attention and eyes to Scout and Atticus.


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