Friday, May 11, 2007

Review: The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance

This review was written by Alice Herold

Cynthia, a thirteen year old girl, has to act the mother of her family because her own mother is a drunk, and her three year old brother, Bill, has Down's Syndrome. Bill calls her "Thynnie" which is the only word he is able to articulate. Her older sister, Kiki, lives away from home and doesn't have much to do with her. "Cynnie" herself states on p. 117, "My own mother doesn't even care enough to try with me. My own grandparents left me behind like I was something that wasn't even important enough to bother packing. Even my sister ditched me because I wasn't worth having to talk to my mom."

Nanny and Grandpop come to take Bill away. After that, Cynnie becomes a train wreck waiting to happen.

She starts her downhill descent by "borrowing" a beer from the refrigerator. She drinks more each day until she receives a 3-day suspension from school for drinking orange juice with gin stored in her locker. She decides to disappear with her friend, Snake, who was being beaten up by his father. She drives Snake's car with Bill on her lap and drinks Scotch at the same time. There's a car accident, so she is ordered to go to AA meetings. Her sponsor, Pat, says, "Did you ever stop to think that when your mother was your age, maybe she drank just about like you do now?" This is the turning point for Cynthia and she begins to get better.

Cynthia begins to claw her way out of her mess when she follows the 12 step program. Her plan is to gain custody of Bill when she is eighteen. Read this interesting and suspenseful book to see how Cynnie redeems herself and attempts to save her family. Cynthia talks about herself on p. 218, "If you're broken, you're broken. It's like the difference between a china mug that's lying in pieces on your floor or one that's been carefully glued back together; it might not look as pretty as a brand-new one and you might have to be a little more careful with it, but at least you can drink out of it."

I noticed the author has written several novels, two of which have been made into movies. I can envision this book as a feature film with a fabulous role for a lucky young movie actress.