After some bad stuff happened at school, and after spending
six weeks as an in-patient, 14-year-old Audrey Turner is home.
She’ll sit out the rest of the spring term,
then start in the fall.
At a new school,
There’s no way she could go
She’s getting better, bit by bit.
She’s been left with paralyzing anxiety and
To help shield herself from
the world, she wears dark glasses everywhere.
Inside or outside, rain or shine.
It’s her way of coping.
a lot of power.
Audrey is the narrator of her own story, and doesn’t want to
give too many details up front.
got an older brother, Frank, and a 4-year-old brother, Felix.
Audrey can talk to them and her parents.
But she still needs the dark glasses.
As part of her recovery, her therapist
suggests making a film.
It would be
about her family to start, then widen to include ‘outside’ people.
The theory is that it might be easier to look
at and talk to people through the camera lens.
Audrey’s not sold, but she’s willing to give it a try.
She’d very much like to be normal.
Especially for Linus, one of her brother’s friends.
Linus doesn’t treat her like a mental
And she saw him play Atticus Finch
in the play last term, and thought he was great.
She still thinks he’s great.
It might seem that Audrey’s world would be tiny and
confined, trapped in the house all the time.
But the truth is, her thoughts and worries take up a lot of her
Her story never feels small, just
As she continues filming, we
learn more about each member of her family.
There’s her Mum, who takes the Daily
newspaper as absolute truth, believing everything in it, and modifying
the family’s habits to suit the latest story.
Which often contradicts the last story, so it can be tiring.
Her Dad is the nice, affable guy who used to
be in a band and now does accounts.
brother Frank, dedicated to computer gaming (too bad, since the Daily Mail
just listed the signs of
computer game addiction and now Mum is convinced that computers are evil.)
And Felix, who is loved by everyone and leads
such a simple, innocent little life.
Her film widens a bit, to include Linus, who is the boy
every girl wants to meet.
When Audrey is too shy to
speak to him, he writes her notes.
an amazingly sweet solution that makes the problem seem like nothing.
Audrey so wants to be well; to be through this
While she works through it,
she comes to realize that her parents, especially her Mum, have a life apart
from the house and the kids.
revelation most teenagers make, and it makes the story that much deeper.
You can read this as a love story; or you can
read this as a family comedy/drama; or you can read it as a recovery
It’s all those things, and the
ending feels real and earned.
like Audrey and loved her story.
ISBN# 978-0-553-53651-5 (hardcover)