Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
Release Date: December 1, 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
The Story: Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart.
She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her "boyfriend" isn't much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.
Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family's painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?
My Review: Delilah Hannaford is a teenage girl struggling with what you could say are pretty normal issues for a girl her age. She is the only daughter to a work-a-holic mother, who is determined to be a successful businesswoman no matter what it costs her. She has the non-boyfriend (aka: friend with benefits) and her grades are less than desirable. Delilah gets caught shoplifting and then subsequently sneaking back into the house all right before learning her grandmother - that she hasn't spoken to in 8 years - has passed away. After a night of packing, Delilah finds herself in the car with her ever professional mother for the drive to Vermont, where they'll spend the summer.
Delilah and her mother don't exactly see eye-to-eye and the same can be said for her mother's relationship with her aunt Rachel. There are some deep-seeded issues with this family and Delilah is determined to find out what happened so many years ago.
I loved the tone of every character in this book. Their personalities rang true with everything they said and did. The fights were heartbreaking but it was the moments of hope, those few seconds with the characters where you could see the rays of light breaking through that really touched me.
You would normally expect a guy to be the only one to get through to the troubled girl. In this case there was the caring and totally romantic Patrick (better known as "little Ricky") from Delilah's childhood, but he was by no means the only person that gave Delilah strength. Her aunt Rachel and even her emotionally distant mother really brought a great level of sincerity to the story.
As Delilah digs for answers to the past she learns that it's not just the past that needs fixing. She needs to fix herself as well. I loved this book. It is a touching story of love, loss and family that left me thinking about the characters long after finishing the book. I highly recommend it!