July 04, 2006

Turn of the Century

Another historical fiction coming-of-age novel is Norah Perez's One Special Year, which tells the tale of Jen McAllister in the first year of the turn of the century. 1900 seems to promise big things to someone only thirteen, and Jen wants to live life to the fullest. But things rarely stay the way you want them to. Jen finds out her father isn't the sterling character she always thought him to be. Her brother, Luke, shows her the truth, but he's unkind about it, leaving her feeling foolish and too young. Her mother is suddenly hateful, and then Jen's beloved grandmother dies, leaving her feeling lost and alone. Many questions pile into Jen's mind, but in the end, even the year you come of age is just another year. Jen moves on -- growing up and changing with the world around her. A surprisingly astute story dealing with forgiveness and compassion.

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