Sunday, November 28, 2010

Life in Miniature-Linda Schlossberg

Life in Miniature
Linda Schlossberg
Kensington, Dec 1 2010, $15.00
ISBN: 9780758238436

In the 1980s in California, twelve years old Adie and her fifteen years old sister Miriam live with their single mother Mindy. When mom suffers a nervous breakdown, she spends time in a mental ward while a neighbor watches the two kids. As soon as she comes home, Mindy moves with her two daughters to their latest strong of apartments; as whenever she feels it is time the family moves.

Miriam, who has been Adie’s anchor, runs away with her boyfriend. Mindy reacts by moving with her youngest daughter to a hotel. This starts a new string of moves but from hotel to hotel as Mindy runs from beasts that Adie knows do not exist except in her mom’s schizoid mind though she pretends otherwise. Each move means meeting new people and making friends temporarily as Adie is good at doing, but also changing one’s name as the tweener understands she cannot connect with anyone beyond the shallowness of the next paranoid move.

Adie tells the insightful family drama with a keen first person viewpoint that also enables the reader to understand her sister and mother as she quotes both of them frequently especially Miriam. The key to this profound tale is that although there is a glimmer of hope for the two daughters raised by a mentally ill single mom, chances are heavy that neither will find adulthood any better than their dysfunctional childhood as the girls will probably run from personal demons like their mother has.

Harriet Klausner

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