Natalie Honeycutt Ask Me Something Easy

ISBN 13: 9780380717231

Ask Me Something Easy

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9780380717231: Ask Me Something Easy

Seventeen-year-old Addie cannot understand why she seems to do everything wrong and why her mother considers her the ""bad sister"" and her sister Dinah, ""the good sister."" By the author of The All-New Jonah Twist. Reprint. AB.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Having previously produced a number of lightweight problem novels featuring such memorable characters as Lissa Woodbury ( Invisible Lissa ) and Jonah Twist ( The All-New Jonah Twist ), Honeycutt reaches a new level of sophistication in this compelling drama, which explores the devastating effects of a bitter divorce. In an attempt to answer her older sister's questions ("What happened to us . . . ? Why did we stop being friends?"), 17-year-old Addie Dillon recounts how she, her sisters and mother have changed during the preceding 10 years. Structured as a series of memories, the book reveals the breakdown of family stability, at the same time conveying the narrator's anger, confusion and eventual acceptance of harsh truths. When Addie is seven years old, her father moves out for good. Overwhelmed by resentment and financial worries, Mrs. Dillon drafts her responsible oldest daughter, Dinah, as confidant and helper, while her two youngest children, Tiny and Bits, retreat into a world of make-believe. Middle child Addie, meanwhile, can do nothing right. Her grades begin to slip, and she is chastised often for being unproductive and rebellious. As time goes by, her mother and Dinah, who is frequently put in charge, become more critical and restrictive, until Addie begins to feel like a prisoner in her own house. By the end of the novel, it becomes clear that although the teen has suffered from a badly battered ego, she has learned to cope with surrounding chaos and emerges as a survivor. The wisdom she has gained is poignantly expressed as she compares herself and the rest of her family to tumbleweeds, blown by the wind "in a new direction." Departing from the neatly resolved endings she has provided in the past, the author focuses on the tragic consequences of neglect and emotional abuse. Readers will be deeply moved by her chilling portrayal of a vulnerable girl desperately searching for love and acceptance. Ages 11-13.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 6 Up-- Told in flashback, this is the story of ten years in the life of the Dillons, a troubled California family. Heroine Addie is seven when her adored father walks out on an affluent but insecure lifestyle, a socially ambitious wife, and four daughters, including preschool twins. The rejected mother alternately broods and lashes out. Addie, who resembles her absent father in personality and interests, is the target of sustained psychological and physical abuse. High achieving, popular, "perfect" older sister Dinah is recruited as mother's confidante and enforcer of capricious rules, and her relationship with her sister deteriorates as a consequence. The younger children bring themselves up living in a half-dream world, showing signs of dysfunction. Most of the adults here are hateful or without definition. The mother is an unsympathetic character, while the father is a shadowy figure who surfaces at first infrequently, then disappears. It is not clear if the mother has legally denied him access or if he, despite hints that he may resort to kidnapping, just doesn't care very much. Quick-fix plot devices are pressed into service: a short-lived high school romance that supposedly makes Addie realize her own worth, a special teacher who encourages Addie to see a counselor, and the prospect of a reconciliation between the sisters. None bring this disjointed story to a satisfying conclusion. The heroine has been cruelly victimized, yet readers are told that she has emerged relatively unscathed, understanding, and mature. Her memoir, the form of this novel, belies that optimistic conclusion. Abuse is a common tragedy in our society; this will have limited usefulness, except to shock. --Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Honeycutt, Natalie
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