Monday, September 24, 2007

Skin, by Adrienne Maria Vrettos

As his parents separate and the family disintegrates, Donnie's sister slips into anorexia. Donnie focuses his energy on trying to keep the peace and keep his sister alive as she grows thinner. But the pressure of it all is eating away at him and his ability to keep things together.

This is a heartrending story, as you can imagine, since it opens with the sister dying and then backs up to trace the events that lead up to his death. The writing is sharp but the plot is strangely undeveloped. As much as this is intended to be a story about Donnie, we never quite get that story, and the pressure he is experiencing is something we can only surmise (rather than see). That's surprising as there is certainly enough pain in here. Overall, this is not a pleasant read, but a decent illustration of what it is like to have an anorexic sibling.

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