Published by: The Hachette Book Group
Reagan Arthur Books
Publication Date: May 29, 2012
Review Copy from: The Hachette Book Group
Edition: ARC TPB
My Rating: 3
Synopsis (from Amazon):
Thirteen-year-old Natalie Gallagher is trying to escape: from her parents’ ugly divorce, and from the vicious cyber-bullying of her former best friend. Adrift, confused, she is a girl trying to find her way in a world that seems to either neglect or despise her. Her salvation arrives in an unlikely form: Bridget O’Connell, an Irish maid working for a wealthy Boston family. The catch? Bridget lives only in the pages of a dusty old 1920s diary Natalie unearthed in her mother’s basement. But the life she describes is as troubling – and mysterious – as the one Natalie is trying to navigate herself, almost a century later.
I am writing this down because this is my story. There were only ever two people who knew my secret, and both are gone before me.
Who was Bridget, and what became of her?
Natalie escapes into the diary, eager to unlock its secrets, and reluctantly accepts the help of library archivist Kathleen Lynch, a widow with her own painful secret: she’s estranged from her only daughter. Kathleen sees in Natalie traces of the daughter she has lost, and in Bridget, another spirited young woman at risk.
What could an Irish immigrant domestic servant from the 1920s teach them both? As the troubles of a very modern world close in around them, and Natalie’s torments at school escalate, the faded pages of Bridget’s journal unite the lonely girl and the unhappy widow – and might even change their lives forever.
My Thoughts and Opinion:
A poignant and tender story ripped from the headlines that we hear, one too many times lately, in the actions and consequences of bullying. Three females, all from different generations, but are united by friendship and the quest for happiness and survival.
The author weaves a heart wrenching prosaic novel that clutches the reader from the start. I was drawn into this story when the author first introduced 13 year old Natalie. As a parent, I wanted to wrap my arms around this character that the author brings to life along with the other characters in the book. The settings realistic as conveyed by the author’s descriptive writing style. The suspense swirls around a diary found that was written many years ago but has an impact on both Natalie and Kathleen, who has her own secrets and pain. A very emotional and compelling read!!!
(2012 Challenges: Off The Shelf, FreeReads, Where Are You, A-z, 52 in 52, Outdo Yourself, 100+)