Thursday, August 28, 2014

Nest by Esther Ehrlich

What do you do when your mother changes?  She was a very vibrant, expressive person who lived to dance.  Her performances were her life.  But when illness strikes her, she changes into a non-responsive robot.  Her exuberance is gone as well as her sense of humor.

Wendy Lam Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 9th.

This book takes a hard look at a family that is falling apart.  Mom's disease is MS, Multiple Sclerosis.  It's an ugly disease that takes away motor skills and makes life in general more difficult.  This story holds no punches.  It's written with pain and suffering in the pages and it's the journey of a young girl trying to live through her grief.

Chirp's mother gets so bad she has to be put in a hospital to deal with her depression.  They even go so far as to give her shock treatments.  When she comes home, she doesn't remember things and she doesn't like what she used to.  Despite that, the family remains close and they each try to determine what might cheer her up. When her father comes to the school and takes her out of classes early, Chirp is puzzled.  When he tells her of her mother's death (by suicide), Chirp's world is torn apart.

As each family member tries to go on and pretend there is nothing wrong with their lives, you see the grief and despair they all feel.  Chirp does one final thing that is almost crazy, but she's trying to bring her memories of her mother back.  

Despite the sadness, this isn't a make-you-cry book.  There's still love, family, and hope for things to get better.  It would be a good book for a child to read that has never lost a relative.  Ms. Ehrlich gives you an honest rendering of how heart breaking it is as well as how you do eventually manage to move on.

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