Saturday, June 21, 2014

The White Bicycle, by Beverley Brenna

Taylor, a nineteen year-old woman with Asperger's Syndrome, spends the summer in the south of France with her mother and the family of her mother's boyfriend.  During the summer, Taylor comes to discover her own independence through the friendship of an older woman -- it is a change to which Taylor's mother has trouble adjusting.  Told entirely through Taylor's voice, the reader is provided a unique perspective on how the world appears when you have Asperger's.

A quiet and gentle book, but still challenging because of the unreliable narrator of the story.  People have tried to write books like this before, but I think Brenna succeeds largely because the story is modest and this allows us to patiently explore Taylor's mind.  That mind can certainly be frustrating, and there are times when you want to just throw up our hands and give up (the way, apparently, Taylor's father did in her youth) but by the end we're cheering along with her.  Nice!

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