There are three beautiful blond Babcock sisters: gorgeous and foul-mouthed Adrienne, observant and shy Vanessa, and the youngest and best-loved, Marie. Read more...
There are three beautiful blond Babcock sisters: gorgeous and foul-mouthed Adrienne, observant and shy Vanessa, and the youngest and best-loved, Marie. Their mother is ill with leukemia and the girls spend a lot of time with her at a Mexican clinic across the border from their San Diego home so she can receive alternative treatments.
Vanessa is the middle child, a talented pianist who is trying to hold her family together despite the painful loss that they all know is inevitable. As she and her sisters navigate first loves and college dreams, they are completely unaware that an illness far more insidious than cancer poisons their home. Their world is about to shatter under the weight of an incomprehensible betrayal...
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-08-22
- Reviewer: Staff
In a story of betrayal and unsettling change, set in the 1970s, debut novelist Devlin introduces Vanessa, a middle child who feels as though her sisters outshine her and whose mother is dying of cancer. Vanessa and her sisters regularly travel back and forth from their home in San Diego to Mexico with their mother as she undergoes experimental cancer treatments involving Laetrile, a controversial cyanogenic drug illegal in the U.S. Soon, Vanessa's mother invites Caleb, a teenage boy with lymphoma, and his mother to move into the family's home, joining them in the commute for Laetrile. Writing through Vanessa's intimate and perceptive perspective, Devlin unspools the teenager's story languidly as she copes with loss, new love, and the ways her family is falling apart, especially after disturbing revelations about her mother's condition come to light. It's transporting reading, with a powerfully evoked 1970s setting, and readers will eagerly sink into Devlin's richly detailed writing, accompanying Vanessa on a journey marked by moments of deep connection and equally profound pain. Ages 14–up. Agent: Faye Bender, the Book Group. (Aug.)