If the title and cover of this book are not enough to intrigue you to read it, I do not know what is. When I saw it in the bookstore, I immediately put it on my "to-read" list. I borrowed it from the public library. After reaching for my highlighter about 40 times, I knew it was time to reach for my laptop and visit Amazon to purchase the book. For some reason, the folks at the library get upset when you highlight their books. Hey, I do not charge for my editing/commentating services!! Anyway, then the wait was on to receive the book in the mail. About a week later, I was back into the book and was following Elvis Babbitt on her daily journey trying to keep her family together after the untimely death of her Mother.
I HAD to finish reading this book this morning, so around 6:25 a.m., I finally finished it. I have to admit that I did drag out the last portions of the book because I did not want it to end -- it was just THAT good.
I laughed on many occasions. Who knew grief could have a humorous side? I cried on more than one occasion. My heart started to break a time or two. Life seen through the eyes of a 10-year-old girl, who has just lost her Mother, who was also her best friend AND the glue that kept the family together, has its tragic moments.
Fortunately for Elvis, she has a heart of gold that can forgive just about anything . . . and I do mean ANYTHING!! It is no wonder all of the animals at the zoo were missing her and asking about her when she was terminated from her volunteer position due to one of her sister's many outrageous antics. Elvis basically has to deal with the grief of losing her mother all by herself . . . well, except for a counselor at her elementary school who gives her a grieving calendar. Her older sister and Dad are drowning in their own grief which only adds to more problems for Elvis.
Annie Hartnett has a wonderful style of writing that is down-to-earth and really lets you see the world through the eyes of a 10-year-old girl. The emotions are real, some gut-wrenching, and make you want to reach out and hug Elvis close to you and tell her things will be okay. But will they really? No one really knows from day to day. Hartnett does a fine job of tying up the loose ends and making us see that there can be happiness on the horizon for everyone.
If you want a break from the normal novel, take a couple of days out and pick up "Rabbit Cake," the debut novel by Annie Hartnett. I guarantee you will not be bored and you will see a new light on how some people deal with their progress through the grieving process. You will come away with a new attitude on the whole grieving process!!