Monday, September 01, 2008

Where People Like Us Live, by Patricia Cumbie

In the summer before high school, Libby's family moves to Rubbertown WI. Within two weeks, her Dad in on the picket line and Libby is helping her mother make ends meet cleaning houses. But she still finds the opportunity to make a new best friend. At first, this girl (Angie) seems exciting and brave, but when Libby learns that Angie is being abused, she has to decide whether to be loyal to her friend or to stand up for what she believes to be right. She comes to realize that her decision is very much like her father's choice to strike.

Dull. That basically sum s up my review. Misidentified in every review (including my own summary above, but it's hard to find much else of substance to summarize) as a book about friendship and loyalty, the great test that Libby must endure is not even introduced until 80+ pages in and is resolved with very little heartbreak. What this book really is is a mood poem -- a depiction of an environment. It's got vibrant characters but Cumbie avoids any dramtic development. That basically spells out sheer boredom to me.

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