Hugging the rock
Brown, Susan Taylor
Published by Frances Lincoln, 2008
Rachel's mom has left, packed the car and driven off with scarcely a backward glance. Rachel can't believe she has done this. Dad, who has always been remote, but whom mom has said was 'a rock', doesn't know what to do. Rachel becomes difficult, her school work deteriorates and even her best friend can't help. Over the weeks and months, Rachel learns that her father is, indeed, a rock, and that it is he who has held the family together for so long. As Rachel learns more about her mother's bi-polar disorder, that her feckless ways had almost resulted in her terminating the pregnancy before Rachel was born, she and her father become ever closer. There is no blame for mom, whose condition has caused the heartache, but both Rachel and her dad come to terms with this seminal event in their lives. Written in a poetic form in short sections, the book can be read in a far shorter time than its 172 pages would indicate. Originally American, the book has an understanding therapist who helps father and daughter but is not obtrusive. Beautifully written and very moving.
Age: 10+