Review: No Alligators in Sight by Kirsten B. Feldman
In this coming of age novel, Lettie and Bert squeak by in a tiny town on Cape Cod, one parent an alcoholic and the other absent. After a string of bad decisions on Lettie’s part, their father ships them to their barely remembered mother for the summer, where they will learn hard lessons about themselves, their family, and their future by way of the Florida swamp. Throughout Lettie keeps her biting humor flowing, her razor-sharp pen at the ready, and her eye on her quest for a “normal” life.
I received this book to give an honest review.
This is on of the those books that you just want to smack around a few of the characters. My heart went out to Lettie and Bert so much being as they were children pretty much raising themselves. I thought the idea of Lettie or (Annie) as she is goes back and forth between names keeping a journal was awesome. You can really feel the emotion that she is thinking or feeling while writing. Lettie doesn't remember much of her mother but she knows that she abandoned them when Bert was three. Why? That is the question Lettie wants to know so badly. But when Lettie who is a hot mess finds herself in trouble, her and her brother get sent to Florida to be with their mother. But what will it all bring to the surface since she hasn't been there? We see the toll that it takes on Lettie and it is heartbreaking. There is a character that ended up being redeemed to me and I have to say that was a blessing.
This is a great coming of age story being told in the eyes of a thirteen year old. There is a lot of emotion written and it does capture you. Lettie is a character you would remember she is sarcastic, has humor but very caring towards her brother. She is having to learn that SHE is the one that makes her life the way it should be. It is her decisions in life that make it a good one or a bad one, not her childhood.
Now there is no action or anything in the book this is a mellow paced book. I would not say slow or fast paced. The ending isn't a HEA but it is one that you could think it might be.
This is one book I would recommend. I like the author's way of telling a story and keeping me wanting to read more.
I grew up on Cape Cod and the Connecticut shoreline and now live outside of Boston, much too far from the ocean and the sand. Reading and writing have played a central part in my life both personally and professionally. I am rarely without a book in my hand. Brown University gave me my undergrad degree in comparative literature and Tufts kindly did the same for my master's in English education. I have worked in a variety of school and museum education settings, including teaching 7th and 8th grade English. My graduate advisor once told me that if teenagers don't make you laugh then consider another career. To me the adolescent voice has such vibrancy and depth to it, whether funny or not; many of my favorite books have this point of view, including: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood. When I started writing No Alligators in Sight, it was unequivocally Lettie's voice that told me the story. May she speak to you as well! If you want to check out other great books with this point of view, see Goodreads interactive list of young narrators and even add your own.https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1...