Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I finished reading The House You Pass on the Way for the second time. I forgot how it ended. Man, you want your reader to use their imagination, don’t you? It’s so open-ended. Did you do that on purpose? Did you have a part II in mind at the closing? Was Staggerlee going to morph into Evangeline and you figured it was best to stop there, so the stereotype that “it’s just a phase” didn’t prevail? Maybe your editor/agent said fourteen year old lesbians were too heavy for the masses to swallow? These questions are doing laps in my mind, when I should really be on the treadmill myself.
Let me get to the review,
The House You Pass On the Way
By Jacqueline Woodson
Staggerlee is the “lonely loner” that Kid Cudi raps about in Day & Nite, minus the drugs. Staggerlee has good reason to enjoy quality “me-time”:
Reason #1: Her parents happen to be the only interracial couple in Sweet Gum (and maybe the whole county). The way people point out her mom’s whiteness makes it sound as if being white is pandemic.
Reason #2: The other kids think she’s “stuck-up” and “too cute” to talk to them.
Reason#3: Dotti, her prettier, smarter, and popular older sister dazzles everyone. Enough said.
Reason#4: College takes her brother away, whom she tells everything (except that bit about starting her period).
Reason#5: Part of her extended family has cut off contact for 20 years. Why? Check reason #1
Reason#6: She kissed a girl in sixth grade, who quickly dogged her after she found out Staggerlee omitted mentioning she had famous grandparents (that were killed in support of civil rights).
Reason#7: Her dad is a cry-baby. Just kidding. He does cry in the beginning because his sister has passed away, but I added that bit only to have seven reasons, instead of six.
You might keep to yourself too, if you had all this to deal with right? It makes for an entertaining story, albeit a quick one, perfect for digesting in an afternoon.