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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Patricia Delois' New Book Reviewed

Title: Bufflehead Sisters
Author: Patricia Delois
ISBN-13: 978-0425227770
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Berkley Trade

Reviewed by Karyn Hall
Review first published by Amazon

Janet lives an ordinary life with an ordinary family, growing up
against a backdrop of the Vietnam War and the growth of the drug
culture. Her parents struggle for a balance between compassion and
control. Janet yearns for a sister, a Thelma for her Louise. Then
Sophie enters her life. Patricia DeLois has Janet describe Sophie as
follows: "Her hair was a nest of blond curls that made me think of
Goldilocks, and there was a smug look about her mouth that suggested
she might have already helped herself to someone's porridge and found
it just right." Turns out, this is actually foreshadowing of events
to come in Sophie and Janet’s lives.

DeLois writes with a magic wand. "One day in late winter, Sophie
suggested we dig our way to another country. Not China, she said--they
would look for us there. We would dig a hole halfway to China, and
then we would veer off toward Amsterdam."

DeLois enters the world of two children and shows the reader both how
Sophie viewed her dysfunctional family and how Janet viewed her own
parents as well as her relationship with the Sophie. The author is as
adept at showing the child's view as she is the adolescent view. The
imagery she creates is so realistic you'll think you're back in your
high school lunchroom, hoping against hope a certain boy will sit with
you and scorning the girls who have reputations. But this is an adult
book that holds a mirror to the ways we judge others.

A coming of age story, a book about heartbreak and the ways women and
men struggle with their wounds, and a tale of everyday lives,
Bufflehead Sisters is all that. It is also a look at having friends
who are different than you and how that affects your life and your
character. You may see yourself in the pages.

There's something special about Sophie. Every one who meets her thinks
so, though not in the same ways. This reader agrees, and probably not
in the same way as you.

I found Bufflehead Sisters to be an enjoyable book. I cared about the
characters and the conflicts they faced. I also looked again at the
choices I’ve made in life.


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