June 25, 2012

Book Review: Girl Unmoored by Jennifer Gooch Hummer

At First Sight: Apron's Mom has died recently and her life is nowhere near to getting back on track. Her father has started a relationship with M (Margie) - the Brazilian nurse aide that used to look after her mom at the hospital - and seems oblivious to the fact that M hates Apron. 

As the school year ends and her father announces plans to marry M - right on the heels of M's announcing she's pregnant - Apron's life seems more out of control then ever. 

This is when she meets Mike Weller - her next-door neighbor's nephew, and star of the local production of Jesus Christ, Superstar! - a florist who is struggling with his business and the declining heath of his friend and partner Chad. 

After helping him out a few times, Apron discovers she actually loves working with flowers and she grows closer to both Mike and Chad, and gladly accepts when they offer her a summer job.

While her home-life spirals a bit out of control each day - with M's true colors starting to show, and her father putting more and more distance between them, and the pregnancy progressing - Scent Appeal, the store Mike and Chad own, becomes a safe heaven for Apron, until real life starts intruding there too.

Second Glance: Girl Unmoored was nothing like I was expecting - and I'm not sure why the nautical theme in the cover, actually - but what it was, it was a joy to read. 

The story is set in the mid or late 80's, I believe, and you can see a lot of the popular mind-frame when it comes to AIDS and homosexuality. And I actually loved that Apron's information on the subject rang true of what a lot of kids thought and knew about AIDS and homosexuality at the time the story takes place, and though a lot of it was wrong, it was believable.

Plus, Apron does learn to look beyond that, she learns to love Mike and Chad because of the lovely people they are, and sees that the way they love each other is actually a lot more healthy than what she sees in her father and M's marriage, for example. 

Also, for a book set in the 80's, the references to this time period aren't too heavy, in many ways the book doesn't feel dated at all. 

My only complaint is that I felt the first half of the book went by a little slowly. I would read, and read, but advance little in the page count. But, after I hit the middle point, things progressed more quickly. 

Bottom Line: Girl Unmoored was a pleasant surprise to me. In the theme and the quality of the content. Save for a few troubles with the pacing, it was a wonderful book that both represents a time and place in culture and, at the same time, shows just how powerful love is. 

Favorite Quote: "You don't have to do anything for some people to hate you." - Mike
starstarstarstar2/3Personal Favorite

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