(3 out of 4 stars) Innocence, it seems, can be hard to crush: Nine-year-old Sandrine Miller--the straight-A student in 1970s New Orleans who narrates Johnson's heartbreaking debut--is beaten by her mother, abandoned by her loving but restless father and sexually abused by two family friends. Yet she's too young to realize the horror of it all; astonishingly, she remains unshakeably [sic] loyal to the grown-ups who let her down. Until the day she cracks: "I heard what sounded like a thick old voice but slowly recognized it as mine, full of tears, hoarse, broken by hiccup sobs." The only thing this affecting story lacks is a bigger picture, wondering how the wounded Sandrine will fare as an adult, readers may be left wishing Tomorrow could write back.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I keep saying I'll actually post here...I had an excellent opportunity while on the reading tour with Preston Allen. I need lots more friends like Preston. He's crazy funny, wise, open, thoughtful, a hell of a writer, a great person all around. I can't wait to really host him in NO--food, Misery Tour, Harrah's, Central City, beignets, po-boys and brass bands.
I may have a big national review tomorrow, the biggest yet. I don't know if I really believe it. When I see it, then I'll believe. It just seems too crazy....
Friday, November 9, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
Only a Day Away by Susan Larsen:
Johnson perfectly captures the voice of a young girl, searching for acceptance and friendship. In Sister Paul and the nuns at her New Orleans school, Sandrine finds mentors and models for kindness; in the women who work at her father's clinic, she finds solace. In a new life with her father, she allows herself to feel "small and safe," confident that she has come home at last. After such a bleak existence, she is allowed that ray of hope, that most basic right of childhood.