Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Learning Not to Drown by Anna Shinoda

Clare's parents are extremely overprotective and don't allow her to do much of anything.  It's especially annoying for her because her older brother Peter has few restrictions and her oldest brother Luke is adored despite the fact that he has been in and out of jail and rehab lots of times.  Clare herself adores Luke, saving every letter her writes and counting the days until he comes home.  When he finally does arrive he is full of promises about finding a job and turning his life around.  But soon Clare sees him doing things that remind her of the past.  Clare's parents are willing to overlook everything Luke does to support their favorite child.  Despite knowing this, Clare could never prepare for the lengths her parents would go to in order help Luke.

This is a powerful book but difficult to read in its gritty look at the reality of dealing with a prodigal child.  Clare is also a difficult character at first in her  desire to protect her brother in spite of his many issues.  But the ending of the book and her realizations are good, if hard won.