Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Saver, by Edeet Ravel

When 17 year-old Fern is left an orphan after her mother dies, Fern makes the decision to lie about her age and just take care of herself. Through amazing hard work, she manages to get by. But Fern has another thing going for her, she's a saver (amazingly frugal and resourceful). So, she manages to find jobs that take care of her needs (by providing free housing and food) and cheap alternatives for everything she can't pick up for free. All along, she maintains her sanity by writing letters to an imaginary alien friend.

I'm not a big fan of child abandonment stories, but this one turns out pretty well, mostly because Fern is so self-reliant. Still, by the end of the story, I wasn't really sure what the point was. You get the feeling that everything will turn out OK in the end, but what was really the point of the journey? There's some character growth, but no climax and no major epiphanies. She struggles, some things work out, and there's more to come. Her relationship with her imaginary friend is never explored and other important threads are left unresolved.

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