Eleven-year-old Iva Giles along with her sister, Mally, and their mother, Lilly, are traveling through the South, fleeing from Iva's depresssed father, who is fixated with water after the death of his brother in a drowning accident.
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A Southern girl watches her fractured family succumb to chaos as her father is consumed by mental illness in this evocative but rather monotonous first novel. Eleven-year-old Iva Giles, her seven-year-old sister, Mally, and their mother, Lilly, crisscross the South in perpetual flight from Iva's father, Jameson, who is depressed and unreliable, fixated on his brother's death in a drowning accident. Gracefully weaving flashback sequences into the family's helter-skelter journey, Reid reveals Jameson's dementia and strange obsession with lakes and rivers-he eventually becomes so unbalanced that he threatens his family. Iva initially resents her mother, Lilly, whom she views as the unstable parent-villain because of their peripatetic lifestyle and Lilly's disastrous affair with Iva's uncle, Davis. However, Iva discovers a darker side of her idolized father when she runs away and tracks him down in Mississippi. Reid sometimes strives too hard for lyricism ("I couldn't help giggling, so loud Mally woke and shot right to silk"), but she gets Iva's stubborn, innocent voice right. The Southern settings-from Texas to Tennessee-are warmly drawn, though the succession of travel scenes become redundant. Reid doesn't transcend the familiar tropes of the mother-daughter road-trip novel, but this is a richly imagined debut.
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Iva Giles was 10 when her mother first packed up the house and her sister, Mally, and moved them away. When her father found them, they would pack and move again, each time farther away from their original home, and into smaller and smaller houses, and farther away from her father. Iva lives in a dream world that is part past, part reality, and part hope. All she knows is that she was her father's favorite and if she could be with him again, they would all be happy. But each time they move, Iva builds up more resentment toward her mother and loses more of her grasp on her dream of having a family again. So, in an act of desperation, Iva takes a bus back to Mississippi to find her father. But what she finds isn't what she hoped for and what she gains isn't what she expected. Reid, in her first novel, creates in Iva a narrative voice that is strong but scared, intelligent yet naive, jaded and still full of hope. Carolyn Kubisz
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Book Description MacAdam/Cage Publishing. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1931561427 May Have light shelf wear, new unread. Please view all standard and expedited shipping terms. Bookseller Inventory # SKU054425
Book Description MacAdam/Cage Publishing, 2003. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111931561427