Thursday, August 21, 2008

Family Sold Separately-Kate Long

Family Sold Separately
Kate Long
Ballantine, Aug 26 2008. $14.00
ISBN: 9780345479679

She has heard her entire life about the family curse that haunts the Millers. Katherine knows when she turns eighteen tomorrow she will meet the doom that destroys every generation when they turn adult.

Not that Kat has had much of life anyway In Bank Top, England. Her dreams will never be answered even the simplest ones like social acceptance by her peers, a lithe body, leaving the hamlet forever and two parents; her dad died when the curse struck in an accident and her mom fled the village leaving her with Poll, her legally blind grandma known for verbally ripping skin, and Poll’s companion garbage dump scavenger Dickie the Dogman. Kat knows Poll needs her so she has no hope except to become as acerbic as her grandma is while watching afternoon television shows that require no brain power. Everything changes when Collum arrives at Bank Top, claiming he is Kat’s cousin.

This is a fascinating look at a teen on the brink of independence adulthood struggling between her desires and her family responsibilities even as she anticipates the expected disaster to strike any moment. Kate better understands now why her mom left but feels guilt over considering doing the same because she believes her caustic grandma needs her. The local dialogue is a two edge sword as its usage brings a sense of location, but can be distracting. Still FAMILY SOLD SEPARATELY is a strong character study starring a dreamer who fears her flights of fancy will prove either futile or nightmarish.

Harriet Klausner

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