Saturday, July 28, 2012

It's a Wonderful Life by Jesse Goossens

Anna is a seventeen year old Dutch girl who is bored by her family vacations.  To begin with, they go to a nudist camp and it makes her uncomfortable.  This year her parents have other plans for her.  They will send her to Pennsylvania to stay with Uncle York and visit America.  Anna has no idea what it will be like...

Myrick Marketing and Media and Net Galley allowed me to download an ebook of this story (thank you).  It has been published so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

The thought of a young girl vacationing in another country without her family intrigued me.  This story actually enchanted me.  

Anna is a young woman coming of age.  Her Uncle is elderly and married to a lovely woman who never sits still.  Their house is small and filled with furniture and belongings, so Uncle York puts Anna in his old farmhouse.  She faintly remembers the house but it has no TV, no internet, no WiFi and it's too far to walk to town.  He teaches her to drive and gives her his old pickup to use while in town.  He also steers her towards a job in an antique store so she won't be bored and will have some spending money.

Anna makes precious friends in her time at the antique shop.  She also learns a lot about the mortuary business from young man across the street.  The most important things she learns, though, are about herself.  Who she is, who she'd like to be, and even a family secret.

One thing the author did that made it a more amusing read was to insert movie quotes.  Anna had watched all the old movies and often hid behind their words instead of showing her feelings.  That changed as the story goes on, but Anna still quotes movies.  There are a few pages at the back that list all the quotes and show which movies they came from.  It was a unique feature that made it even more fun to read.

This is the story of life, love, loss, and coming to terms for Anna.  It was a good read and when you end it, you know Anna is not done yet.  She's a good kid and she's going to keep moving forward and following her dreams.

Happy reading.

1 comment:

Shan said...

This book certainly sounds interesting. When I started reading the review I thot it would be back in the day, so was surprised to find it up to date.
I have a friend who came from Switzerland at 16 to Montreal and never went back. When she came she didn't even speak the language very well, and her first language was German. I love listening to her stories and bet this book will be a great read. Love the idea of the movie quotes and the list of them in the back.