June 07, 2007

To Thine Ownself Be True

Thea never used to be a liar, but the winter she lost her best friend, she also lost her credibility -- with herself first, and then with everyone else.
Now she's at her grandparent's house, but even there, she's not in her special place, or at peace with herself. First of all, she's overrun with cousins, the worst of them is Jocelyn, who is little, and nosy, and needy with her eczema rashes and her big, misty eyes. She just won't go away. Thea finds herself lying to Jocelyn more than anyone, hiding upstairs in the attic bathroom, just trying to find room to breathe.

Thea's Mom and Dad know that something is wrong, but she can't tell them the truth about what's up -- she promised. Before she sends her away for the summer, Thea's mother gives her a notebook,
The Book of 100 Truths that Thea can list, to get back into the practice of telling the truth, and maybe to help her look around and see what's true about herself.
And by summer's end, Thea definitely needs truth to be told. And as always, the truth sets Thea free most of all.

With a cast of cute cousins, strange aunties, and a great big rambling house on the shore, this book has the makings of a perfect summer story. Some readers were disappointed with Thea's truths and thought of them as both anticlimactic and unimportant, but Thea's truth was important to Thea, as each person's truth must be theirs, and must be important to them. And that, I think, is the point!

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